ON.Lab’s ONOS Deployed in Two More Research Networks – New Applications Support WAN Scenarios

Glenn Hunt
Glenn Hunt

Summary Bullets:

  • Uses ICONA, an application developed on top of ONOS, to extend its capabilities to support intra-domain sessions which leverage BGP to established router-to-router connectivity.
  • Uses an ONOS SDN-IP peering application hosted on Americas Lightpaths (AmLight), creating SDN facility based on OpenFlow which interconnects five Latin American research and education networks (RENs).

ONOS continues to gain exposure and provide an effective platform for researchers and network developers to continue to evolve SDN-based solutions and help the industry transform from closed vendor-specific network devices to those using open software and COTS hardware. First, ON.Lab announced, in concert with GEANT, an ONOS deployment in a pan-European network that interconnects Europe’s national research and education networks; a second announcement, in concert with Florida International University, involved deployment to interconnect five Latin American RENs. Both announcements provide valid proof points to support the goal established by ON.Lab, which is to create a carrier-grade platform to host critical network applications using open source software.

The capabilities of ONOS were enhanced with the addition of the Inter Cluster ONOS Network Application (ICONA), which extends ONOS’ capabilities to support wide-area network (WAN) scenarios, where there are stringent requirements in term of control plane responsiveness. ICONA provides an orchestration mechanism which helps to synchronize the status of all the ONOS clusters to ensure that resiliency, scalability and high availability (required for production environments) is maintained. ICONA can further help decrease event-to-response delays in ONOS-based clusters, which can be located in different geographical locations, while increasing the overall robustness of the controller to network faults. The addition of the SDN-IP application, used in the AmLight network, enables multiple RENs to operate in a collaborative fashion and help harden ONOS for eventual commercial deployment. Using the SDN-IP application, an operator is able to: provision L3 connectivity without using legacy routers; transform ASs running OpenFlow into IP (BGP) transit networks; and allow an SDN network to connect seamlessly to the Internet, which provides a powerful migration strategy leveraging the capabilities of BGP.

Although progress is being made, as the two examples above clearly demonstrate, and as we reported with Internet2’s ONOS deployment in June, 2015, we will most certainly see continued investments by ON.Lab as well as vendors such as Huawei (and others) and operators such as AT&T (and others) which have been early supporters. However, effort also continues on the OpenDaylight project, which may have broader vendor support; so expect the two environments to continue to evolve and expect a significant level of interoperability to develop as well.

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