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SDN Platforms Boron, Hummingbird Released

Seen by some as competing for supremacy in the software-defined networking (SDN) controller space, the ONOS Project and the OpenDaylight Project just released respective platforms within one day of another.

Today, the ONOS Project announced its eighth quarterly platform release, called Hummingbird, described as "the only SDN control plane that can support both disruptive and incremental SDN for service providers and enterprises seeking to virtualize and optimize to keep agile pace with the explosion of mobile devices, video and Big Data applications."

Yesterday, the OpenDaylight Project released its fifth platform edition, Boron, described as "the de facto standard platform for building next-generation networking solutions."

Some industry observers describe the two organizations as competitors, as evidenced by a presentation this year titled Clash of Titans in SDN: OpenDaylight vs. ONOS and articles such as OpenDaylight and ONOS: Does SDN Really Need Two Controllers?

However, as of last year, both organizations are operating under the umbrella of The Linux Foundation and some reports point to cooperation between the two camps.

OpenDaylight exec Neela Jacques outlined his view on the situation in a blog post penned after ONOS joined the open source steward, of which OpenDaylight was already a member.

"I am often asked whether ONOS and OpenDaylight compete and where I think things will end up," Jacques said. "Those who have seen me present at ONS and other events have a good idea of my thoughts here: I continue to believe we're all better off that both OpenDaylight and ONOS have explored and created great innovations and continue to have market traction. At the same time, we need to recognize that the user community needs us to find a way to come together to drive towards greater collaboration, integration and rationalization."

However things shake out, organizations interested in applying the latest technical advances in SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV) now have two new controller options to check out.

OpenDaylight Boron
[Click on image for larger view.] OpenDaylight Boron (source: OpenDaylight Project)

"Boron further develops and standardizes support for the industry's leading use cases, while facilitating development of innovative new approaches to solving network-related business challenges," Jacques said in a statement yesterday. "From the world's biggest telco networks to webscale giants and even the Large Hadron Collider, OpenDaylight is at the heart of more and more SDN solutions and production infrastructures."

In detailing several enhancements to the platform, OpenDaylight noted that more than half of the release's proposed projects originated from user organizations. With close ties to the open source OpenStack cloud computing platform, OpenDaylight said it re-architected OpenStack-related capabilities to provide improved scalability and performance, especially in clustering, high availability and persistence.

"With the Boron release, we focused a lot of effort on enhancing core platform resilience and building the control plane capabilities, which is crucial as the project scales," said exec Colin Dixon. "As the platform has matured and more OpenDaylight-based solutions are reaching production, we've been able to leverage not only feedback, but an increase in engagement from a growing number of end users. This in an important step as it accelerates our ability to meet the real-world functionality, robustness and interoperability needs of end users."

The Modular Software Architecture of the ONOS Project
[Click on image for larger view.] The Modular Software Architecture of the ONOS Project (source: ONOS Project)

ONOS, meanwhile, touted new network services that also provide scalability and high availability, along with expanded southbound and northbound protocols and better support of incremental SDN on legacy devices, among numerous other improvements.

"Hummingbird is the ideal platform to deliver the full SDN value proposition to service providers," said Bill Snow, an exec at ON.Lab. "Hummingbird delivers important advancements not only in the core control functions, but also in support of automation and configuration of legacy and OpenFlow-enabled devices to serve the growing set of use cases being tackled by service providers today and into the future."

Organizations interested in learning more about Boron can look forward to the OpenDaylight Summit starting next Tuesday in Seattle.

ONOS, meanwhile, has its first large-scale developer conference, ONOS Build 2016, coming up in early November in Paris.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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