Sunday, March 8, 2020

ONF’s Stratum Open Source Switch OS runs on TIP's Cassini

Stratum, the open-source switch operating system software developed by the ONF, is now available on Cassini packet optical transport hardware from TIP.

Cassini is a network switching platform with integrated optical transponders that is developed as a project by the Telecom Infra Project (TIP).

Stratum is a thin switch OS for data center white box switches supporting SDN interfaces, including P4, P4Runtime, gNMI and OpenConfig.

Stratum’s capabilities have now been extended to support configuration and management of optical parameters including wavelength, modulation and optical power. These new capabilities enable Stratum to be deployed on the white box Cassini platform. Stratum on Cassini now enables a completely open SDN-native solution for addressing Data Center Interconnect (DCI) use cases.

The ONF notes that its ODTN project has already demonstrated end-to-end orchestration of a network of Cassini-based systems in field trials. The demonstration leveraged the open source ONOS control plane from ONF and the open hardware from TIP; it also relied on proprietary embedded software running on the Cassini platform. It can serve both as a spine for “leaf-spine” type architectures within the datacenter, and as a packet optical transponder for the inter-datacenter connections. The four Cassini systems replace what would otherwise be 8 distinct devices: 4 spine switches and 4 packet optical transponder systems.  This converged design enables operators to deploy simpler solutions at a much lower cost, both in terms of Capex and Opex.

ONF's Stratum Project goes Open Source

The ONF's Stratum SDN project has been released as open source under the Apache 2.0 open source license.

Stratum is an open source, silicon-independent switch operating system for software-defined networks that runs on a variety of switching silicon and various whitebox switch platforms.

The ONF said the goal of Stratum is to avoid the vendor lock-in found with today’s data planes that feature proprietary silicon interfaces and closed software APIs that tend to lock operators into using a specific hardware technology. The strict contractual relationship of a P4-based interface between a Stratum switch and its controller ensure that the switch can be swapped with a spectrum of alternatives (even those with different switching silicon from a diversity of vendors) without need for controller modification or network retest and validation.  Never before has it been possible to grow and upgrade installations and adopt the latest advancements in switching silicon at the speed of cloud development.

Stratum also exposes a set of next-generation SDN interfaces including P4, P4Runtime, OpenConfig, gNMI and gNOI, enabling programmability of forwarding behaviors, zero-touch operations and full automated life-cycle management. This makes Stratum a key enabler for ONF’s next-generation SDN initiative.

“Bringing project Stratum to open source is an important milestone in furthering the ONF’s open networking movement,” said Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, ONF. “Stratum provides a consistent set of northbound Next-Gen SDN interfaces even as it runs on a wide selection of hardware platforms leveraging a variety of switching silicon. As such, Stratum is becoming the common substrate for ONF’s Next-Gen SDN stack, enabling rapid innovation, zero touch operations and a robust hardware ecosystem.”

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