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09 April 2013, 11:48

OpenDaylight shines on open source software-defined networking

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OpenDaylight logo The Linux Foundation has announced that it has founded the OpenDaylight Project, which will create an open source framework for software-defined networking (SDN). Joining as founding Platinum members of the project are Big Switch Networks, Brocade, Cisco, Citrix, Ericsson, IBM, Juniper Networks, Microsoft and Red Hat. NEC and VMWare join as Gold members and Arista, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, Nuage Networks and Plumgrid join as Silver members. Platinum and Gold founding members are expected to donate software and engineering resources to build OpenDaylight; in the case of Platinum members that includes a commitment to allocate the equivalent of ten engineers to the project.

As systems have made more use of virtualisation, so the complexity of networking between hardware and software has increased. Although it can be easy to bring up a virtual machine on a system, the work to correctly configure its networking connections to other systems has become more time-consuming. With SDN, network administrators control network connections and traffic programmatically and, for example, will be able to deploy a new virtual machine and its appropriate network connections entirely from a console and allow the controllers to automatically optimise network traffic.

OpenDaylight architecture
Zoom OpenDaylight in layers
Source: OpenDaylight Project
The OpenDaylight Project will build on existing standards for SDN such as OpenFlow. It will build a service abstraction layer over it and other "Southbound" interfaces and protocols. Over that, a controller platform which will handle network and platform control services will then be created; this will be exposed to "Northbound" applications as a REST-based OpenDaylight API. An overview of SDN and OpenDaylight is available on the OpenDaylight project site.

The various founding members are all committed to contributing components, from controller code to networking models for virtual tenants and from virtual Ethernet code to XMPP connections. All of these components are to come together to create a package with an open controller, a virtual overlay network, protocol plugins and virtual switches. The OpenDaylight project will be an Eclipse Public Licensed package and should see first code releases in the third quarter. The OpenDaylight Technical Steering committee has been formed to review proposed contributions and technical direction. Potential contributors and users are directed to the Getting Started Guide.


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