Sunday, September 15, 2019

Comcast activates Trellis Open Source Networking Fabric

Comcast has reached production roll-out of the Trellis Open Source Network Fabric as part of Comcast’s Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) buildout. The implementation relies on whitebox-based Ethernet backhaul to improve network scalability and space/power efficiencies in the head-ends.

The announcement, which was made at the ONF Connect conference in Santa Clara, California, is a milestone in Comcast's DAA evolution and a key proof point for the ONF.


Comcast confirmed that it is now running Trellis in multiple markets and that rollouts are accelerating. 

ONF’s Trellis is an open-source, SDN based, multi-purpose spine-leaf switching fabric supporting distributed access-and-edge networks, NFV and edge cloud applications. Trellis leverages the ONOS open source SDN controller, the OpenFlow protocol and white box switches. Trellis implementations are significantly simpler and more adaptable than a conventional network that relies on embedded routing and switching protocols running on each individual switch. For example, instead of having to configure and run distributed multicast routing protocols, intelligence is centralized in Trellis and run in a cloud-native fashion on a resilient cluster of standard compute nodes.

“In collaboration with the ONF and a team of supply chain vendors, Comcast is deploying the open source Trellis platform as the networking fabric in our next generation access network,” said Elad Nafshi, Senior Vice President, Next Generation Access Networks, Comcast.  “This has been a multiple year journey from design, to extensive field trails and finally to production rollout, and we’re impressed with the results and the advantages that using open source and Trellis are delivering for us as we upgrade our access network.”

“The open source ecosystem created by ONF has collectively established a new ‘Distributed DevOps’ model through the process of trialing, hardening and deploying Trellis with Comcast.  This has established a new formula for open source whereby an operator, ONF and a consortium of commercial entities come together to collectively build and stand behind a deployment,” said Saurav Das, Vice President of Engineering for the ONF.





  • Trellis defines a solution for an open multi-purpose L2/L3 spine-leaf Ethernet switch fabric for edge data centers and for interconnecting multiple sites.  It supports Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) running on servers, network functions implemented directly within the switch fabric itself, and the interconnection of local and remote resources all in a single solution. Trellis builds a non-blocking fabric using OpenFlow® controlled white box switching hardware and open source software. The Trellis fabric does not run any embedded control protocols on the switches (e.g. BGP, OSPF or RSTP). Instead, intelligence is moved into applications running on a clustered ONOS controller.  Fabric switches are thus simplified, and the fabric can be optimized by leveraging a holistic view of all activity while new features and functionality can be deployed without upgrading the switches. See ONF Reference Design TS-101 Trellis v1.0

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