Light Reading
The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) says its working group on "Northbound APIs" is making real headway.

SDN's Northbound Ascent

Ray Le Maistre
1/9/2014
50%
50%

Critical groundwork on the interfaces between software-defined networking (SDN) controllers and the application layer has been undertaken by the Open Networking Foundation 's (ONF) recently-formed Northbound Interfaces Working Group, laying the path for a greater understanding of how SDN can be utilized in multiple data-networking scenarios.

ONF is working on multiple fronts to develop SDN architectures for enterprises and network operators and to promote the use of the OpenFlow protocol in next generation networks. It stated in an email update this week that the working group, announced only a few months ago, has already identified a number of use cases and "levels of abstraction." ONF plans to share these when it publishes its Northbound Interface "information models" later this year. Those models, it says, will be "accompanied by open-source working code for select use cases." (See HP Exec Goes Northbound for SDN.)

The so-called Northbound Interface is important because it is the application programming interface (API) between SDN controllers and applications, management systems, and orchestration software. (The Southbound Interface, meanwhile, is the API that enables a controller to define the behavior of switches/routers, with OpenFlow being a prime example of a Southbound Interface protocol.)

Many different Northbound APIs already exist. ONF is providing guidance on what those APIs are and on the instances in which they are most applicable. It is not, ONF's executive director Dan Pitt explained in a November article written for Light Reading, developing a standard Northbound API. It is however monitoring the potential use of certain specifications that could be of use to network operators, vendors, and developers. (See Compass Check: ONF & the Northbound API(s).)

Identifying and evaluating Northbound APIs is just one of a number of current major challenges for the SDN community. Others revolve around the issues of OSS and orchestration. (Expect the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) community to be very active in this area during 2014.) Another area of focus is security, where SDN developers are working towards self-defending systems, such as SE-Floodlight, that use analytics to identify potential threats and adjust data flows.

With 2014 set to be another major year for networking professionals considering SDN's potential, developments such as the Northbound Interface APIs and network security models are important, especially considering that they are progressing at a pace not often seen in the telco world. That's particularly important because, while SDN was borne of the datacenter sector initially, Pitt believes that telecom service providers will be the key drivers behind SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV) developments this year. (See AT&T Revamps Supplier Program for SDN/NFV and Top 5 NFV Movers & Shakers.)

Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
RolfSperber
50%
50%
RolfSperber,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/10/2014 | 11:18:23 AM
Re: Hot topic
Carol, Ray,


We, that is a group of specialists from University of Dresden, Deutsche Telekom, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology and others are working on an SDN stack that will finally enable both vertical and horizontal integration. The basic idea is to forward application defined requirements to involved network segments and finally to the network elements. Andy Georgi (University of Dresden) presented our approach on Infocomp 2013. We are open for additional partners and we can provide details to any interested party.
Ray@LR
50%
50%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
1/10/2014 | 6:55:17 AM
Re: Hot topic
This is a very necessary move, to identify what can be utilized, and how, in a non-proprietary environment.

A set of specifications or building blocks that would enable the development or updating of APIs to enable interoperability/portability looks like the best way forward.
njmodi
50%
50%
njmodi,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/9/2014 | 8:10:39 PM
Re: Hot topic

As has already been noted, there are are many SDN controllers available today (in various stages of readiness), but many are vertically integrated with a given vendors hardware and the APIs are only useful for that integrated solution. The the ONFs work in developing and publishing standard northbound APIs that can be leveraged by vendors who are building truly open multi-vendor SDN solutions will help move the industry forward. Standardized and/or easily adaptable APIs will help ensure interoperability, make controller portability more feasible. It is probable that higher-order APIs will be developed using the building blocks specified by the ONF. It will be interesting to see how the work the ONF is doing around APIs can be leveraged for SDN in the WAN, specifically for service orchestration.

Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
1/9/2014 | 2:44:21 PM
Re: Hot topic
If it's vendor noise - everyone has their own controller and it controls mostly their stuff - I'm hoping it can be fairly quickly pushed aside. 

But there will be real issues to address in this process, to be sure. 
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/9/2014 | 2:42:17 PM
Re: Hot topic
Maybe, just maybe, ONF could be opening up Pandora's box considering how many controllers of various flavors are out there, with perhaps more to come. Roy Chua of SDNCentral has very succinct article on the various controllers at:

http://www.sdncentral.com/market/controller-onlab-juniper-open-source-sdn-battleground-part1/2013/12/

Get the feeling we're going to hear a lot of noise on this one.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
1/9/2014 | 8:49:34 AM
Hot topic
This has been a topic that comes up in virtually every conversation I have about SDN with either vendors or network operators - it will be interesting to see progress made on this front. 
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
Drones Hover Over the IoT Sector
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/23/2014
Roku Raises $25M, But for What?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/23/2014
1959 Newsreel: Make Phone Calls – From Cars!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/24/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed