Thursday, May 17, 2012

Latest Release of OpenFlow Adds IPv6, Tunneling, QoS

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) approved OpenFlow 1.3.0, adding a number of updates to the standard for real-world deployment in wide-ranging environments. 

OpenFlow 1.3.0 was developed by the Extensibility Working Group of ONF, which is tasked with moving technical work forward and making OpenFlow more flexible to enable a rich set of features and broad set of implementations. The new version of the OpenFlow protocol includes support for:
  • IPv6 deployment that enables OpenFlow controllers to implement IPv6 RFCs and routing
  • Tunneling and logical port abstraction used in datacenters, virtualized private networks (VPN), and more
  • Provider Backbone Bridging (PBB), which is a lightweight tunneling standard used between datacenters
  • Quality of Service (QoS) through a new per-flow metering feature to precisely control the usage of the network bandwidth
  • Features that enable the controller to better select the information it gets from the switch with per-flow metering and per-connection event filtering.
OF-Config 1.1 was also approved, which is an update for the configuration and management protocol for OpenFlow switches. The updated configuration protocol is an important aspect of the evolution of OpenFlow and includes capability discovery, tunnel configuration, error handling, and new security features. OF-Config 1.1 allows OpenFlow controllers and OpenFlow switches from different vendors to be easily deployed and managed in the same datacenter or network.

"ONF continues to focus its technical work on the topics that are most important to the networking market,” said Dan Pitt, executive director, ONF. “OpenFlow brings market-defining value into the SDN eco-system. The approval of OpenFlow 1.3.0 and OF-Config 1.1 demonstrates the Foundation’s commitment to reducing time-to-value in real-world deployments where operational efficiency and managing complexity are primary concerns. We are eager for member companies to move forward with the implementation and deployment of these updates because doing so will allow processes to be defined ‘on the fly’ and deployed automatically, thus driving the commercialization of OpenFlow-based SDN for the benefit of customers."