Coalition Announces Global Breakthrough for Software-Defined Networking

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SDN Breakthrough Announcement

Proving true SDN principles and deployment at Internet-scale, ONOS-based peering router and Vandervecken SDN controller stack successfully exchange 15,000 routes on trans-Pacific link.

A coalition comprising the Open Networking Operating System (ONOS) Project, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), Corsa Technology (Corsa), ESnet, AARNet and CSIRO have announced the successful deployment of an ONOS-based software-defined peering router. The router located at AARNet/CSIRO in Australia exchanges routes with the Vandervecken software-defined networking (SDN) controller stack at ESnet in California and uses high performance data planes comprised of Corsa switches in both locations.

This deployment validates the benefits of open source SDN principles to flexibly deliver agile applications at a fraction of the cost of traditional proprietary networking solutions. Successfully deploying carrier-grade SDN applications with control and data planes capable of running at Internet-scale capacity in the WAN using disparate SDN systems represents an important milestone for the networking industry.

Figure1 - SDN breakthrough announcement 6 May 2015

Figure 1

The deployed SDN-based peering router, developed by ONF and the ONOS Project, is a free, open source application built on ONOS and is currently available for download from the ONOS Project website. It enables SDN networks to seamlessly interact with software-defined and traditional (non-SDN) networks by peering with one another to advertise, collect and exchange routes using eBGP. The peering application receives route advertisements from peers, resolves next hops and then programs the OpenFlow™ switch in the SDN data plane through ONOS.

The ONOS-based peering router is deployed across two sites in Sydney, Australia. The Corsa switch is located in an AARNet data center in Haymarket and the ONOS application in a CSIRO research laboratory in Marsfield, approximately 15km away. It controls the high throughput Corsa OpenFlow DP6410 data plane and successfully peers across a trans-Pacific Layer 2 VLAN with a complementary SDN-based router, Vandervecken, at ESnet in Berkeley, Calif. (see figure 2). The ESnet site also uses a Corsa DP6420 data plane, programmed by the Vandervecken SDN router software developed by Google and based on Routeflow project1 and Quagga on a Ryu controller.

SDN Breakthrough Announcement

Figure 2


Peering Router Deployment

The production ESnet (AS293) router advertises 15,000 routes comprising research and education networks to the Vandervecken Router, which in turn advertises these to the peering router in Sydney, Australia. In addition to successfully peering with the Vandervecken router, the ONOS-based router also peers with a traditional router in a private AS within AARNet/CSIRO.

ONOS provided the high performance, scalable SDN control plane for the peering router at AARNet. It also programmed the multi-table pipeline in the Corsa DP6420 data plane using OpenFlow v1.3.

“Having successfully exchanged 15,000 routes in this deployment reflecting true Internet scale and 100,000 routes in lab tests, it was programming the data plane with large forwarding tables that presented the real technical challenge here,” said Bill Snow, vice president of Engineering at ON.Lab. “This operation has been up and running for over a month now, so it is no longer a question of whether SDN control planes can be deployed to support worldwide infrastructure. With ONOS’ support for high availability, scale and performance and with Corsa’s high performance, programmable data plane, the promise of SDN is turning into reality. An SDN control plane that readily interoperates with existing infrastructure, whether traditional or software-defined is the key to providing a migration path from legacy systems as well as a roadmap to pure SDN infrastructure.”

“The successful deployment of this software-defined peering solution across continents is an important milestone in the development of next-generation IP networks and the adoption of open SDN,” said Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation. “The collaborative effort from these organizations enables this communication across continents and demonstrates an international effort in the advancement of SDN. This project builds on our successful development of a segment router, incorporates the OpenFlow protocol between the control and data planes, and will serve as a foundation for additional ONF and community-based projects.”

Adaptive and scalable controllers like ONOS enable real production use cases for OpenFlow-based software-defined networks and are critical to the adoption of SDN. Corsa’s high performance OpenFlow v1.3+ data planes bring multi-table processing power and 100G line speeds to the data plane for the many SDN and NFV applications demanding Internet scale.

“ONOS controlling the network routing and OpenFlow hardware providing scale, demonstrates that network-wide peering arrangements can be initiated and adjusted as needed on the fly, all under SDN control,” said Corsa CTO Yatish Kumar. “We have also shown the progress of open source software in achieving SDN. This is just the beginning of an emerging phase in SDN networking as more and more open projects come on line with reliable, useful code.”

ESnet has been collaborating with Google and REANNZ for the past few years to research, deploy and scale operational SDN-IP software stacks.

“As the Department of Energy’s high-bandwidth network for science, it’s exciting to be a partner in this project that is helping to transform networking,” said ESnet CTO Inder Monga. “Operational deployment of SDN-IP stacks will enable existing networks to seamlessly integrate with innovative SDN network deployments. Since we are funded by the U.S. government, it’s important this software is free and open source so that our investment in the project can be further leveraged by the rest of the networking community.”

AARNet and CSIRO jointly facilitated and hosted the peering router in Sydney, Australia. AARNet provided the trans-Pacific layer 2 connectivity and hosted the Corsa switch while CSIRO hosted the ONOS control plane software of the peering router in a virtual machine in a research cloud located approximately15km away.

“AARNet and CSIRO are very excited to be partners in this project to help demonstrate working implementations of SDN technology. Our organizations are currently collaborating in an Australian government funded initiative with nine Australian universities to build an ONOS-based SDN test-bed to demonstrate the real value of SDN to Australian companies and accelerate its uptake,” said CSIRO Research Engineer Craig Russell. “This project shows that scalable, SDN-IP software stacks can be deployed on real networks.”

David Wilde, AARNet’s network architect said, “This project is a great example of a global collaboration in an exciting area of technology. Much of the focus in SDN until now has been on networking within the datacentre, so it’s an important step forward to see this work across a wide-area network.”


To view the original media release on PR Newswire, visit:

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