Open Networking Summit Sees New Open Source ONOS Release, NEC ProgrammableFlow Update

One is an open source community release aimed at service providers, one is a proprietary solution that also targets enterprise deployments, but both serve to show the fast-paced growth of new-age software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies.

At the Open Networking Summit, just concluded yesterday, the ONOS community (open source SDN networking OS for service providers) showcased its latest software release, called Falcon.

Along with new applications, the release supports the Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center (CORD) project and enhances support for "southbound" SDN protocols. CORD is a collaborative effort between AT&T and the Open Networking Lab to unify SDN, NFV and cloud technologies. Southbound protocols such as OpenFlow define how SDN controllers interact with lower-level networking components.

With Falcon, ONOS software is now integrated with the latest OPNFV distribution named Brahmaputra, just released earlier this month. That functionality came via a contribution by Huawei.

Other contributions to the release listed by ONOS include:

  • Continued expansion of the REN networks including new network support with NCTU Taiwan, GÉANT Europe, KREONET Korea, AARNET Australia and AmLight South America.
  • Troubleshooting applications from FNLab/BUPT China.
  • OSPF southbound protocol support from Huawei and Cognizant and a SNMP southbound provider from BTI.
  • New GUI views including the driver matrix view and the application view.
  • New northbound reservation capabilities from Fujitsu.
  • Dynamic cluster scaling support.

"With ONOS now a part of OPNFV Brahmaputra release, the industry has a carrier-grade SDN controller option within Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM) in NFV infrastructure," said Patrick Liu at Huawei in a statement. "With OPNFV's developer-centric and lab-ready open source environment, we expect to see more and more NFV applications/solutions come to market. Easy to build and integrated with ONOS-enabled VIM, these applications can also quickly verified and tested within ONOS-installed OPNFV Open Labs in the world."

Also during the summit, NEC Corporation of America (NEC) announced the latest release of its ProgrammableFlow Networking Suite. The five-year-old ProgrammableFlow was the first commercial SDN solution to leverage the open source OpenFlow protocol, according to NEC. The company said the new release optimizes the ability to manage and control networks, with improved network security and more operational cost savings.

"ProgrammableFlow Network Suite has always had innovative features that provide inherent, (built-in) investment protection for customers and this release continues that commitment," said NEC exec Don Clark. "This new functionality provides greater performance, availability and resiliency that delivers the performance our customers expect and even easier administration for SDN."

One notable feature of the new release is support of a packet processing pipeline functionality that works with low-cost equipment approved by the Open Compute Project (OCP), which the company said ensures a flexible, efficient, high-performance network architecture.

Other highlights of version 6.3 of the suite listed by NEC include:

  • A non-blocking spine leaf network designed for datacenter networks that provides a high-performance network built on a low cost, power efficient, open platform.
  • Secure network isolation of data traffic with up to 64,000 virtual networks, supporting fine-grained network segmentation and multi-tenancy.
  • Support for massive scalability -- up to 10,000 switches -- in a federated controller network, an increase of 2,000 switches from the previous release.
  • Zero touch network policy provisioning from the NEC ProgrammableFlow Controller increases service agility and reduces the network administrative burden.
  • High availability -- up to 16 way path redundancy network control provides high levels of reliability for mission-critical applications.

"With the release of ProgrammableFlow 6.3, NEC continues to respond to the evolving SDN requirements of its customers," NEC quoted IDC analyst Brad Casemore as saying. "In addition to ProgrammableFlow's new enhancements to scalability, security, automated provisioning, manageability, and availability, NEC's acceptance of OCP Switch Specifications allows ProgrammableFlow customers to benefit from OCP's ongoing initiatives in open networking."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.


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