OpenDaylight Gives Details on Initial SDN Platform

Dubbed “Hydrogen,” the architecture includes protocols such as OpenFlow, management and security features, and OpenStack support.

The OpenDaylight Project, a vendor-led effort to create an open platform for software-defined networks, is giving the industry the first details of its initial release, code-named “Hydrogen.”

Hydrogen comes five months after founding members such as IBM and Cisco Systems—and the Linux Foundation, which is overseeing the project—announced the initiative, which is designed to create an open, common SDN platform. The platform—including the controller platform, user interfaces and data plane elements such as virtual switches—would give vendors the foundation for SDN and enable them to compete at higher levels, particularly the applications and service that run atop the SDN platform, that bring more value to end users, according to participants.

The first glimpse at the initial platform also comes despite some skepticism around the credibility of the OpenDaylight Project, which some analysts and vendors claim is hindered by the presence of such vendors as IBM and Cisco as driving members.

However, despite the doubts, members insist the OpenDaylight Project is creating an open SDN platform.

“The OpenDaylight community is developing an SDN architecture that supports a wide range of protocols and can rapidly evolve in the direction SDN goes, not based on any one vendor’s purposes,” David Meyer, chairman of the project’s Technical Steering Committee, said in a statement. “As an open source project, OpenDaylight can be a core component within any SDN architecture, putting the user in control. The community is working to further refine the Service Abstraction Layer to deliver an efficient application API that can be used over a broad collection of network devices so we can deliver a best-of-breed platform that will help users of all stripes realize the promise of SDN.”

That promise is to create more flexible, scalable and programmable networks by separating the control plane from the underlying physical hardware. Currently most of the network intelligence is housed within vendors’ switches and routers, which have to be programmed manually, an effort that takes time and is error-prone. SDN will help make networks more automated and responsive, according to advocates.

According to OpenDaylight, the Hydrogen architecture will include new and legacy protocols such as OVSDB, OpenFlow 1.3.0, BGP and PCEP, as well as multiple methods for network virtualization and two initial applications that leverage features of OpenDaylight: Affinity Metadata Service to aid in policy management and Defense4All to protect against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. The architecture also includes an integrated plug-in for OpenStack Neutron, and the Open vSwitch Database project will include management from within OpenStack.