OpenDaylight SDN Project Expands Membership and Technology

The OpenDaylight open source Software Defined Networking (SDN) project is growing.

OpenDaylight got its start in April of this year as a multi-vendor effort to build open source SDN technologies. The initial set of supporting vendors included some of the biggest names in the IT business, including Arista Networks, Big Switch Networks, Brocade, Cisco, Citrix, Dell, Ericsson, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Intel, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, NEC, Nuage Networks, PLUMgrid, Red Hat, and VMware. That vendor list has now grown by four, with the inclusion of ADVA Optical Networking, Ciena, Guavus, and Versa Networks.

OpenDaylight is run as a collaborative project operated by the Linux Foundation, which is no stranger to the world of open source collaboration. Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation, told Enterprise Networking Planet that while there is a lot of interest in open source SDN, the Linux Foundation is not actively recruiting members for the OpenDaylight Project.

“Just like Linux, investments in OpenDaylight will allow companies to reap the benefits of the collaborative development model and accelerate the delivery to customers of products and services on top of OpenDaylight,” Zemlin said. “There certainly is a lot of interest among the companies we’re in conversations with, but also, just like Linux, anyone can participate and contribute, regardless of being a member. “

Service provider networking vendor Ciena is among the new members to the OpenDaylight project. Chris Janz, VP of market development at Ciena, explained to Enterprise Networking Planet that his company is committed to delivering and facilitating truly open control system software architectures. Janz said that having an open control system enables network operators to innovate and differentiate their network operations and related businesses, keeping them competitive.

“Open control system architectures, to be useful in this respect, must be based on agreed views of primary architectural lines, types of components, and their inter-relationships, standard internal and external interfaces connecting components,” Janz said. “Additionally, available well-engineered standard components of such architectures, through open source, will prove useful for all, promoting efficiency and velocity in the development ecosystem.”

Virtual Tenant Networks

In addition to the new members, the OpenDaylight project is adding some new technology to its mix. The first project undertaken by OpenDaylight was its controller initiative, now being complemented by another technology known as Virtual Tenant Networks (VTN).

David Meyer, technical steering committee chair at the OpenDaylight Project, explained to Enterprise Networking Planet that VTN technology enables Layer 2 and Layer 3 multi-tenant virtual networks.

“Not only is the functionality provided essential to network virtualization, the technology itself is quite interesting and features a unique ‘logical abstraction plane’ (LAP),” Meyer commented. “The LAP allows us to design and deploy any desired network topology (L2 and/or L3 functionality) without knowing the physical network topology or bandwidth restrictions.”

Ciena’s Janz is also optimistic about what VTN will bring to the SDN market.

“VTN is one way to implement virtual networks/network slicing, and supporting this in an SDN environment is an essential requirement for public clouds and even internal enterprise clouds,” Janz said. “Including this in OpenDaylight’s scope makes sense, we support it, and we’re looking forward to participating and figuring out what is the eventual optimal network slicing technology for OpenDaylight and the industry.”


Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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