Home & Office

OpenDaylight Software-Defined Networking Codebase coming together

The open-source OpenDaylight Software-Defined Networking project is maturing quickly.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

The OpenDaylight Project, the Linux Foundation-led industry-supported open source framework to advance Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is coming together more quickly than many people expected. On July 25, OpenDaylight announced that many new technology contributions are being integrated into the project.


Sources close to OpenDayLight at OSCon, the major open-source convention in Portland, OR, said that the project is maturing quickly. One executive involved with the project said, "While some people outside the project think that OpenDaylight about standards, it's not. It's about creating a true community, open-source project that can be used by any vendor for a strong, vendor interoperable set of SDN programs."

"Community growth for OpenDaylight has been astonishing with hundreds of developers now contributing their time and talents for the advancement of SDN. Everything is starting to congeal between the contributions and the people working fast and furious to build what we expect will be industry leading SDN technology," said David Meyer, the OpenDaylight Technical Steering Committee chair, in a statement.

According to the project, "The base architecture for the OpenDaylight controller is a combination of two code bases that were brought together through a collaborative proposal by Colin Dixon of IBM and David Erickson of Stanford. Shortly thereafter, NEC contributed a key feature with its Virtual Tenant Networking technology. More recent contributions represent enhancements both small and large to OpenDaylight and reflect a growing endeavor to integrate efforts across the developer ecosystem."

Jim Zemlin, The Linux Foundation's executive director agreed, "OpenDaylight has seen a level of participation that is rare at so early a stage in an open source software project and we’re excited about its progress. This momentum is a good sign for the future of SDN."

These new contributions range from networking protocols to virtualization to security and come from such companies as Cisco, ConteXtream, Ericsson, IBM, NEC, Pantheon, Plexxi, Radware and University of Kentucky developers Brent Salisbury and Evan Zeller.  

Some of the most significant additions are the following:

BGP/PCEP protocol library: The Cisco-contributed library provides Java-based implementation of the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) and the Path Computation Element Protocol (PCEP)—two vital networking protocols.

Defense4All: Radware contributed this toolset to be used for the detection and mitigation of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Defense4All subsystems include statistics collection, anomaly detection, traffic redirection and mitigation management that together allow applications to leverage the OpenDaylight controller and an SDN architecture to effectively manage DDoS attacks.

Open DOVE: IBM contributed a version of its established network virtualization technology, called Distributed Overlay Virtual Ethernet (DOVE), which provides isolated multi-tenant networks on any IP network in a virtualized data center, allowing administrators to define virtual switches and networks, quality of service, security, bandwidth, priorities and more. DOVE provides each tenant with a virtual network abstraction providing Layer 2 or Layer 3 connectivity and the ability to control communication using access control policies. Address dissemination and policy enforcement in Open DOVE is provided by a clustered directory service. It also includes a gateway function to enable virtual machines on a virtual network to communicate with hosts outside the virtual network domain.

OpenFlow 1.3.0 Protocol Library: Pantheon’s contribution is an implementation of the OpenFlow protocol as defined in OpenFlow Switch Specification Version 1.3.0. The library is designed to be extensible from third-party bundles in order to support vendor extensions and should serve as a basis for the OpenFlow 1.3.0 southbound plugin for the OpenDaylight controller.

OpenFlow Plugin: Cisco, Ericsson and IBM combined efforts to create a common, uniform OpenDaylight plugin to support all implementations of the OpenFlow specification as it develops and evolves. It provides support for the existing OpenFlow 1.0 implementation, while aiming to support OpenFlow 1.3.x and further versions of the specification. 

Open vSwitch Database Management Protocol (OVSDB): is a project led by the University of Kentucky's Brent Salisbury and Evan Zeller. Open vSwitch is an open source software project implementing virtual switching that is interoperable with many major hypervisors and used extensively in cloud computing environments. The OVSDB integration project will allow OpenDaylight to view, modify and delete Open vSwitch objects such as bridges and ports.

Notice something about that list of companies who have come to work together on SDN? Historically many of these businesses are not friends. They've joining their efforts to create an open-source implementation of SDN that will work for all of their advantages. Rather than fighting for a bigger part of a smaller networking pie, they've decided to bake a larger SDN pie.

Interesting in working on OpenDaylight? Programmers are welcome to join OpenDaylight. Dedicated developers who contribute high-value code can evolve to become committers in the project, with the lead committer being elected by his and her peers to sit on the OpenDaylight Technical Steering Committee.

Related Stories:

Editorial standards