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SDN Dev Tool Seeks to Counter Competing Controllers

A research project has unveiled a full IDE for creating applications using software-defined networking (SDN), seeking to help developers deal with the variety of competing controllers being used in the upstart virtualization technology.

NetIDE today introduced its first full IDE that's independent from both vendors and specific SDN controllers, the European research project announced at a Düsseldorf, Germany, conference.

"Nowadays, while most of the programmable network apparatus vendors support OpenFlow, a number of fragmented control plane solutions exist for proprietary software-defined networks," the project's Web site states. "Thus, network applications developers need to re-code their solutions every time they encounter a network infrastructure based on a different controller. Moreover, different network developers adopt different solutions as abstract control plane programming language (for example, Frenetic and Nettle), leading to not reusable and shareable source code for network programs."

Thus NetIDE provides an Eclipse-based integrated framework featuring the NetIDE Network Engine, a controller-agnostic environment in which SDN applications for varied controllers can be deployed on top of the same infrastructure. The IDE also provides tools for testing, profiling and fine-tuning network applications, including a logger, garbage collector, debugger, a wireshark dissector and more, the project said.

"It is great that we are finally releasing this important outcome of the project," said project exec Dr. Elio Salvadori. "We strongly believe this may greatly simplify the life of many SDN software developers, who are often forced to get drop applications developed for a specific controller and re-implement everything from scratch for a different controller."

NetIDE is driven by a consortium of networking vendors, researchers and educational institutions. It provides the open project on GitHub, and it's also featured on the Eclipse Marketplace.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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