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ONOS Unveils Latest SDN OS Release, Emu

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12/3/2015
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MENLO PARK, Calif. -- ONOS’ community has announced the availability of its latest release of open source SDN Network Operating System (ONOS), Emu, the fifth platform release from ONOS in one year. The rapid development of quarterly releases demonstrates the commitment by the community to expand and evolve ONOS as a viable open source solution that allows partners, collaborators and individuals to build real SDN and NFV products and solutions. ONOS has rapidly evolved to become a platform for service providers to monetize SDN and NFV, while helping vendors and service providers alike to create SDN and NFV solutions leveraging open source and invent new business models.

Both the community and its contributions are growing rapidly. ONOS’ community contributions include improvements to the platform such as IP Multicast and SDN-IP and key use cases including Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center (CORD), Packet/Optical, service function chaining (SFC) and support for the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV) and OpenStack.

“The ONOS project continues to accelerate the process of quarterly releases with the participation of the community. The cadence of quarterly releases is becoming a habit and one that is very important for the rapid evolution and long term success of ONOS,” said Bill Snow, Vice President of Engineering at ON.Lab. We’re very heartened to see the growing contributions from our community for the Emu release and use cases.”

Maintaining a rapid quarterly cadence of new iterations has been highly effective for ONOS’ open source software development. Adding new features and capabilities is the goal of the virtuous-cycle to deliver platforms that enable solutions and use cases, enriching the platform through feedback from the community. Testament to the strength of the ONOS architecture and its ability to enable real SDN and NFV solutions, the number of collaborators and contributions to ONOS from organizations and people outside of ON.Lab continues to grow.

ONOS’ growing list of collaborators that joined in the Emu release includes: ECI, ClearPath Networks and FNLab from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT FNL), whose contributions and expected contributions continue to increase. Collaborators contributions include: ETRI’s adaptive flow monitoring; KAIST and SRI’s performance improvements for security mode ONOS; KISTI’s announcement that they have deployed ONOS in KREONET-S; ECI’s work supporting an ONOS use case for multilayer SDN Control of IP and optical layer networks; ClearPath Networks’ efforts to integrate Yangforge with ONOS to make it easier to develop services using YANG models; and BUPT FNL is working on porting a debugging application to ONOS that detects routing loops and black holes with more failure detection modules planned for future development.

“When we initially released ONOS, our goal was to provide a solid platform that would act as a base on which ON.Lab, its partners and the community could rapidly develop a number of SDN applications,” said Thomas Vachuska, Chief Architect at ON.Lab’s ONOS project. “ONOS’ growing list of SDN and NFV use cases and solutions is a testament to the robustness of its initial distributed architecture design. Even as we add more features, it continues to provide high availability, scalability, performance, and the rich north- and southbound abstractions required for service provider and mission critical networks.”

ONOS’ Emu Expanding Capabilities and Advancements

ONOS continues to see significant contributions from its member partners such as Huawei’s contributions to support integration with OpenStack and OPNFV’s Brahmaputra, Fujitsu’s work on the resource reservation subsystem and SK Telecom’s work enhancing CORD for the delivery of mobile network use cases moving forward.

OPNFV and OpenStack - In order to become a controller option with OPNFV’s upcoming Brahmaputra release, Emu can integrate with OPNFV and OpenStack to provide an easy pathway to future VNFaaS and NFV management and orchestration capabilities. In addition, SK Telecom is leading a project called Simplified Overlay Networking Architecture (SONA), which will ease deployment of software defined data centers, where they have provided OpenStack Switching and OpenStack interfaces for CORD.

Resource Reservation Subsystem - Fujitsu has contributed a general purpose reservation system to replace the previous ones, supporting a single, consistent interface and semantics for different types of resources. The new subsystem is also more easily extensible to new types of resources that operators may wish to bring under ONOS’ control.

IP Multicast – DirecTV continues to contribute to the multicast infrastructure. To support multicast use cases and applications the project created the ONOS Multicast Forwarding Application (MFWD). The multicast apps MFWD and Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) support PIM-SSM Hello and Join/Prune as well as static multicast routes. The ONOS multicast architecture is composed of the following primary components; the Multicast Route Table that maintains Multicast ASM and SSM forwarding state within the ONOS controller, the MulticastForwarding module which responds to live multicast data traffic, the MulticastIntentManager responsible for interacting with the ONOS IntentService which in turn establishes paths through the network.

GUIs - ONOS adds the MFWD CLI and REST APIs that allow external operators and applications to examine and modify the existing MFWD state. The UI adds new archetypes for views as well as a new overlay for Badged nodes and both facilitate the ability to customize the user's view of the network.

Service Function Chaining - Huawei has contributed significant enhancements to the virtual tenant network (VTN) system to enable ONOS to provide Layer 2 and Layer 3 (L2, L3…) virtual networks as well as IETF’s Service Function Chaining (SFC). New capabilities include a set of new northbound APIs for creating SFC. These include creating port-pairing for virtual functions, port-pair-grouping for load balancing of virtual functions, flow-classifiers (L2, L3 and L4) and port-chains for function chaining. ONOS implemented an SFC control plane in ONOS by creating an SFC Manager that includes classification and forwarding behavior construction. New L3 features are: east - west bound communication between different subnets for the same as well as different tenants; south-north bound communication including floating IP and device modeling for external traffic; and the ability to do live virtual machine migrations and to add L3 services in the data path.

CORD – CORD brings a new architecture to the CO that began with a residential subscriber PoC at ONS2015 that will become a field trial with AT&T in the first half of 2016. The trial will also add support for mobile and enterprise PoC’s in 2016. New Meter and QinQ support enable more QoS and Policing features. Additionally, SK Telecom helped develop initial implementations of infrastructure support for virtual networks and network services for CORD for the delivery of mobile network use cases.

Adaptive Flow Monitoring - Korea’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) has added infrastructure upgrades for ONOS to perform adaptive flow monitoring. Monitoring can now be used to debug flows inline Network traffic monitoring is a fundamental function that can be used to operate and manage a network stably and efficiently. To do this many network management systems require accurate network resource status information in real-time. In order to provide such information in an inexpensive but accurate way, ONOS adds an adaptive flow monitoring subsystem with an efficient sampling algorithm. Selective Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) subsystem in ONOS will be added in future iterations as ONOS plans to develop the subsystem in two phases for its OPEN-TAM functionality subproject.

SDN-IP - is an ONOS application that allows Software Defined Networks to connect to external networks, legacy or software-defined, using the standard Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). It is a key element of ONF’s Atrium distribution. The SDN-IP app benefits from the new configuration subsystem announced in Drake by delivering remarkably easy app configuration with Emu enabling reconfiguration of this app at run-time so it can add or remove peers dynamically. Emu also adds default route support in SDN-IP based on the IETF’s RFC 4632 standard. In legacy networks, if the router does not have a matchable IP prefix then it will send the packet to the next hop in the default route. Similarly in SDN-IP, if a peer announced a default route then it means that, if you do not know where to route the traffic, you can send it to that peer and it will route the traffic for you. Another benefit of using default route is to reduce the route table size.

Reactive Routing – Reactive routing for SDN-IP can work with and without BGP, however, without BGP it can only handle routing inside local networks. This is due to the situation where reactive routing does not initiate a route discovery process until a route to a new destination is required. It leads to higher latency but delivers lower overhead for slim yet nimble deployments where more is required from fewer hardware resources.

ONOSFW - To deliver ONOS support for OPNFV, ONOS launched the ONOS Framework project (ONOSFW) in the OPNFV open source community. A Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM) is a required component used in NFV architecture to manage and control virtualized resources via coordination between OpenStack and the SDN controller. ONOSFW builds the interfaces for ONOS to communicate with OpenStack Neutron’s Modular Layer 2 (ML2) plugin, which is a framework allowing OpenStack networking to simultaneously utilize the variety of layer 2 networking technologies found in complex real-world data centers. In terms of functionality, ONOSFW provides VTN, Layer 2, Layer 3 and SFC services in ONOS enabling applications to build tenant-based services on top of ONOS.

Border Gateway Protocols with Link State Distribution (BGP-LS) - On the southbound, Emu adds Border Gateway Protocol with Link State Distribution extension (BGP-LS) as a plug-in to the ONOS controller to collect topology information from the network and make it available to other apps. This topology data can be used by applications such as PCE that can benefit from visibility outside one area or Autonomous System (AS) in order to make better decisions for path computations system-wide.

SDN controllers require complete topology information from the networks they manage to customize them for performance improvements by delivering efficient usage of network resources. In the future, using BGP-LS any app such as PCE or ALTO servers can use new IP topology subsystem to create services for their own use case scenarios. In the southbound, BGP-LS learns all the link state information from IGP in the network, through which it learns the network topology along with the network’s traffic engineering parameters. OTN and Packet Optical Support – ONOS improved the resource reservation API. ECI enhanced ONOS’ optical application to support ODU Multiplexing and ODU Cross-Connect services based on OpenFlow (ONF) Optical Transport Protocol Extensions with OCH and ODU Multiplexing with the southbound interfaces based on ONF standards. This enhancement includes support in the creation, deletion and restoration of data paths. The firms are jointly working to deliver ONOS in another packet-optical proof of concept. ECI has successfully demonstrated these features with ONOS over its own optical equipment and this capability will be available to any equipment that supports OpenFlow optical extensions that is using Emu or future versions of ONOS.

Additional deployments – ONOS has been deployed in additional research and education networks, including KREONET-S, with additions to the AARNET and FIU/AmLight deployments.

ONOS

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