Open Networking Takes Next Steps Up the Stack - Page 2

The combination of the Snaproute controller working with the P4 (Programming Protocol-Independent Packet Processors)-enabled Tofino creates new forms of visibility and control over network data packets.

Snaproute plugs into AT&T's ECOMP framework to make use of the orchestration layer, while also programming network traffic through the Tofino chip on the switches.

"The programmability allows carriers to supply differentiation for their end users," said Snaproute CEO Jason Forrester, meaning the ability to collect metadata off packets to inform other applications. On the operations side, it now becomes easy to automate the deployment of the switches and network policies, he said.

Toward the Next Generation

Robb of the Linux Foundation became the interim director of the OpenDaylight controller project earlier this year when Neela Jacques stepped aside. Despite it not being the hot new project on the block anymore, Robb is very satisfied with its progress, citing its place in the majority of OPNFV scenarios as well as in ONAP.

"[OpenDaylight] just graduated high school, and it's on its way to college," said Robb, who indicated that he will lose his "interim" title soon. "When we started this, people didn't really know where an SDN community controller was going to fit. Was it going to be the central [focus], or was it going to be something smaller and more specific? With ONAP, it's a cog in a larger wheel, a very important cog, but that's a fine role to play."

Where all of this is leading is a way to manage networks, compute and storage at scale with standard tools and application programming interfaces (APIs). This is a necessary piece to keep up with exponential growth in traffic that is expected over the next few years as 5G networks start to proliferate and to enable users to build and deploy new services faster.

There's still a long way to go, but as the progress so far has been steady, real solutions are emerging that prove the validity of the open-source networking vision, said keynote speaker Martin Casado, partner at investment firm Andreesen Horowitz and founder of the NSX network virtualization technology.

"In the very beginning this was a group of dreamers. They were academics and startups that didn't know what they were doing," he said in an interview with eWEEK. "The ideas are largely the same, but now, this is mature. There are real production deployments, real companies, real products, real success cases. Being part of this journey for 10 years it's awesome to see this happening."

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. He has an extensive background in the technology field. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture, at TechTarget. Before that, he was the director, Editorial Operations, at Ziff Davis Enterprise. While at Ziff Davis Media, he was a writer and editor at eWEEK. No investment advice is offered in his blog. All duties are disclaimed. Scot works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made.

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture,...