OpenDaylight Launches Hydrogen SDN Platform

The group's initial software release comes in three editions, including one for enterprise data centers and another for service providers.

The OpenDaylight Project is rolling out the initial software release of its open software-defined networking platform, dubbed Hydrogen.

The release comes 10 months after the OpenDaylight Project was launched by a group of tech vendors led by Cisco Systems and IBM, and less than five months after the organization first began talking about Hydrogen.

At the same time, a range of member vendors—including IBM, Ericsson and NEC—announced new projects or products based on the work of the OpenDaylight Project.

The OpenDaylight Project, which is being run under the auspices of The Linux Foundation, was created to develop an open platform for software-defined networking (SDN) and network-functions virtualization (NFV) that any vendor can leverage and build upon. Organizers have said that having such a platform will not only give vendors an open foundation to build their SDN solutions upon, but also will help drive the adoption of SDN.

The group has been steadily increasing its membership ranks—it now counts 33 vendors as members—and has pushed forward despite early criticism that it was a vendor-driven organization essentially created by two tech giants in Cisco and IBM.

The release of Hydrogen—as well as the 500 attendees at the initial OpenDaylight Summit this week in Santa Clara, Calif.—is an indication that the organization is moving in the right direction, according to Neela Jacques, executive director of the OpenDaylight Project.

"When you take these two things … you have a project with enormous momentum," Jacques told eWEEK. "We are delivering real code, not just talk, not just plans."

Hydrogen, which essentially provides northbound capabilities for networking hardware like switches and routers, comes in three editions, with the first being the Base Edition. The Base Edition includes a multi-protocol SDN controller based on OSGi, an OpenFlow plugin and OpenFlow library, an open vSwitch database configuration, and Java-based NetConf and Yang toolsets. The Base Edition is aimed at organizations that are looking to run proof-of-concepts or tests in physical and virtual environments. Chris Wright, Red Hat's technical director of SDN and a member of OpenDaylight's technical steering committee, said the Basic Edition essentially is the building block for the platform.

The Virtual Edition, which is aimed at enterprise data centers that may already be looking at SDN environments or running clouds based on OpenStack, includes everything in the Base Edition, as well as APIs to establish workload relationships and service levels, tools for detecting DDoS attacks, and features for multi-tenancy in network virtualization scenarios using OpenFlow.

The Service Provider Edition includes everything in the Base Edition as well as the APIs and DDoS detection tool, and support for traffic engineering protocols and programming models. There's also SNMP protocol support and APIs for managing commodity Ethernet switches.

Hydrogen can be downloaded immediately.