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SDN Technology

ONF Updates Atrium Open SDN Software

PALO ALTO, Calif. – The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the adoption of open Software-Defined Networking (SDN), today announced the second release of Atrium, an open SDN software distribution, by extending it to the OpenDaylight platform. This release builds on the first open SDN software distribution, Atrium 2015/A, released by the organization last June. Atrium 2016/A is a vertically integrated set of open source components that together form a complete SDN stack and is designed to facilitate the networking industry’s adoption of open SDN by integrating established open source SDN software with some critical connecting pieces.

“ONF is actively creating an ecosystem and the architecture needed to assist network operators to more easily build custom solutions and allow vendors to take advantage of common building blocks, reducing their development costs and improving interoperability,” said Bithika Khargharia, director of Product and Community Management for the Open Networking Foundation and principal architect of Solutions and Innovation at Extreme Networks.

The focus of the second release of Atrium is the incorporation of OpenDaylight into the Atrium router. The router in this release is built on the OpenDaylight framework and controls OpenFlow hardware switches using Quagga’s open-source implementation of the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), a control plane protocol for Internet routing. The most important features of Atrium’s first release, namely flow objectives and device drivers, are implemented in the OpenDaylight Device Identification and Driver Module (DIDM) that allows the router to work across multiple different OpenFlow v1.3 hardware pipelines. The work on this portion was contributed almost entirely by Criterion Networks and Wipro. Hardware from NoviFlow interoperates with the OpenDaylight implementation of Atrium, with additional vendors to follow. 

This release of Atrium also improves the ONOS version (Atrium 2015/A) by improving scalability and stability and by adding experimental support for the Interior Gateway Protocol (IGP), following interoperability demonstrations and testing in AsiaPac, Europe, and North America. Performance and scale test contributors include Criterion Networks and improvements to the basic router have come from ON.Lab.

In addition, this version of Atrium includes a new feature called the Leaf-Spine Fabric. This is the first Layer 2/3 Clos network fabric built in open source, on Open Compute Project (OCP) hardware, and with SDN principles and notable contributions from ON.Lab, Broadcom, and Accton. The Atrium fabric is designed to scale up to 16 racks, using well-established design principles of Layer 3 down to the Top of Rack (ToR) switch, where packets from Layer 2 are switched within a rack and Layer 3 routed across racks. The fabric is set for a field trial with a major operator soon, as part of the Central Office Re- architected as Data Center (CORD) project with ON.Lab.

The second release of Atrium achieves the same objective as the first, namely to create a router or fabric by integrating application (Quagga), a network control plane (ONOS or OpenDaylight), and multiple instances of network forwarding planes (OCP components or vendor switches). The software elements run in controllers (servers) and switches, communicating via the OpenFlow protocol, and include plugin opportunities for other switching solutions to help foster an open ecosystem of interoperable, hardware-based OpenFlow switches in an integrated package that can be downloaded and deployed easily.

Atrium 2016/A is currently available for use. For more information about Atrium 2016/A and 2015/A, please visit: www.opensourcesdn.org.

Open Networking Foundation

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