Monday, April 24, 2017

The New Open Source Networking Universe, managed by The Linux Foundation

This month's Open Networking Summit (ONS 2017) in Silicon Valley, which marked the sixth instalment of the annual event since its origin at Stanford University, once again brought many key thought leaders together for keynotes, tutorials, conference sessions, panel discussions and a small exhibition. ONS was the event that set off alarm bells across the industry in 2012 when Google announced that SDN had moved well beyond the research phase and into its commercial network, using a home-grown solution and no routing equipment from conventional vendors.

As far as the current state of open source networking is concerned, perhaps Margaret Chiosi, formerly at AT&T and now with Huawei, put it best, commenting (paraphrased from her keynote), 'open networking has reached the peak of exuberance and not yet crossed the chasm of despair'. In other words, great ideas are flourishing but no one is yet really making money or saving money with open networking. In addition, Guru Parulkar, executive director of ON.Lab, observed that while there are many proof-of-concepts and early deployments, a 'resource gap' of qualified professionals may delay large scale deployments. New technology is difficult and committed resources must be in place if network transformations are to really happen.

ONS 2017 was presented by The Linux Foundation, the San Francisco-based organisation with the lofty ambition of creating the 'largest shared technology investment' in history. A mural at the entrance to the exhibition depicts the New Open Source Networking Universe, and certainly a tremendous amount of intellectual capital is being collected, curated and assembled into specifications and frameworks impacting every layer of the network.

The following is the line-up of networking related projects underway at the Linux Foundation (although there are more non-networking LF projects and other open source networking projects, such as Open Stack, that are not managed by LF).

ONAP

The Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) unites two major open networking and orchestration projects, AT&T's open source ECOMP and the Open Orchestrator Project (OPEN-O). This newly launched LF project is one of the largest open source networking initiatives, with members including Amdocs, AT&T, Bell Canada, China Mobile, China Telecom, Cisco, Ericsson, GigaSpaces, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Metaswitch, Nokia, Orange, Tech Mahindra, Reliance Jio, VMware, ZTE and other leading network operators, OEMs and platform providers.

OPNFV

A carrier-grade, integrated, open source platform to accelerate the introduction of new NFV products and services. OPNFV is mainly focused on building NFV Infrastructure (NFVI) and Virtualized Infrastructure Management (VIM) by integrating components from upstream projects such as OpenDaylight, OpenStack, Ceph Storage, KVM, Open vSwitch and Linux. At ONS 2017, OPNFV made its 4th major release, codenamed Danube, adding foundational support for MANO. The next release, codenamed Euphrates and targeted for completion by October, is expected to include more containerisation support.

Open Daylight

One of the largest projects, this promotes and advances the global development, distribution, and adoption of the OpenDaylight (ODL), the largest open source SDN controller. Many industry vendors participate in ODL.

ONOS

A SDN operating system for service providers that has scalability, high availability, high performance and abstractions to make it easy to create applications and services. At ONS 2017 the ONOS community made its next platform release, adding support for IPv6 routing, vLAN tagged external interfaces and AAA endpoint authentication, a better GUI interface, VPLS support and various southbound enhancements. Notable members of the ONOS community include AT&T, Comcast, China Unicom, Google, NTT Communications, SK Telecom and Verizon.

CORD

Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD) combines NFV, SDN and the elasticity of commodity clouds to bring data centre economics and cloud agility to the telco central office (CO). CORD lets the operator manage central offices using declarative modelling languages for agile, real-time configuration of new customer services. Three versions are underway - Mobile CORD, Residential CORD, Enterprise CORD – and each has multiple proof-of-concept demos.

DPDK

The Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) consists of libraries to accelerate packet processing workloads running on a wide variety of CPU architectures. DPDK was created in 2010 by Intel and made available under a permissive open source license. Today, more than 20 key open source projects build on DPDK libraries, including MoonGen, mTCP, Ostinato, Lagopus, Fast Data (FD.io), Open vSwitch, OPNFV, and OpenStack. This community has just moved to the Linux Foundation. Gold members of the project are ARM, AT&T, Cavium, Intel, Mellanox, NXP, Red Hat, and ZTE; Silver members include 6WIND, Atomic Rules, Huawei, Spirent, and Wind River. The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), University of Limerick, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Tsinghua University are Associate members.

FRRouting (FRR)

Free range routing (FRR) is a project endeavouring to make the best open source routing stack. FRR, which originated in the Quagga project, includes protocol daemons for BGP, IS-IS, LDP, OSPF, PIM and RIP. At ONS, it was announced that this project will now be managed by the Linux Foundation.

Open Switch (OVS)

An open-source implementation of a distributed virtual multi-layer switch, the main purpose of Open vSwitch is to provide a switching stack for hardware virtualisation in a network.

PNDA

Platform for Network Data Analytics (PNDA) aims to eliminate complexity by integrating, scaling and managing a set of open data processing technologies and by providing an end-to- end platform for deploying analytics applications and services. The big idea is that open source big data analytics can play in accelerating the transition to more agile, assured and orchestrated services. At ONS 2017, the MEF demonstrated a reference implementation of LSO (Lifecycle Services Orchestration) analytics using PNDA.

AllJoyn

AllJoyn is developing an open source framework for IoT.

Cloud Foundry

Cloud Foundry aims to make it faster and easier to build, test, deploy and scale applications.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation

This group focuses on the development of open source technologies, reference architectures and common formats for cloud-native applications or services.

The Open Container Initiative

Building a vendor-neutral, portable and open specification and runtime for container-based solutions, founding members of this initiative include nine new companies committed to the OCI, with members including: Amazon Web Services, Apcera, Apprenda, AT&T, ClusterHQ, Cisco, CoreOS, Datera, Dell, Docker, EMC, Fujitsu Limited, Goldman Sachs, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, IBM, Infoblox, Intel, Joyent, Kismatic, Kyup, Mesosphere, Microsoft, Midokura, Nutanix, Odin, Oracle, Pivotal, Polyverse, Portworx, Rancher Labs, Red Hat, Resin.io, Scalock, Sysdig, SUSE, Twistlock, Twitter, Univa, Verizon Labs, VMware and Weaveworks.

The Xen Project


This is the leading open source virtualisation platform that powers some of the largest clouds in production today. Amazon Web Services, Aliyun, Rackspace Public Cloud, Verizon Cloud, and many hosting services use Xen Project software.

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