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SDN Technology

ON.Lab Aims to Make White Boxes Carrier-Grade

The new Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab) released a new version of its ONOS networking operating system, designed to help white box equipment achieve carrier-grade performance, scale and availability.

The new Blackbird ONOS release follows the first version of the operating system in early December. (See ON.Lab Intros Open Source SDN OS.)

Blackbird is better at recovering from failures than even Donald Trump -- ON.Lab says the software can recover from failures including switch and link, node, entire cluster, single node cluster, cluster partitioning and device-node communication. (See ON.Lab Releases 'Blackbird' Open Source SDN Operating System.)

How ONOS Works
[Source: ON.Labs]
[Source: ON.Labs]

SDN has been talked about in the industry since 2012, but much of the effort has been focused on separating the control plane from the data plane in proprietary hardware, ON.Lab strategic advisor Ram Appalaraju says.

"They put a control plane in the legacy box and say, voila, we meet the definition of SDN," Appalaraju says. That serves needs for some users but doesn't assist large-scale SDN deployments.

Moreover, relying on proprietary hardware doesn't give network operators the benefits of white box equipment -- low cost and vendor independence.

Apalaraju didn't name names, but adding software control to proprietary hardware is central to Cisco's Application Centric Infrastructure strategy. (See Cisco Ships Its SDN Architecture -- Almost.)

Carriers are building proof-of-concept demonstrations using ONOS, and will demonstrate those at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara, Calif., in June, Appalaraju says.

In addition to releasing ONOS Blackbird, ON.Lab also defined and publicly published metrics for evaluating whether SDN control plane platforms and controllers are carrier-grade.

Existing SDN metrics such as the Cbench metric for OpenFlow controllers are incomplete, ON.Lab says. The new ONOS metrics defines performance, scalability and availability.

"ONOS aims to achieve extremely high target numbers of 1 million flow operations per second and less than 100 ms (and ideally under 10 ms) latency," ON.Lab says. "Most of ONOS Blackbird release's measurements meet these targets; the ones that do not will continue to be optimized in the coming releases and in conjunction with use case and deployment requirements."


Want to know more about SDN? This will be just one of the many topics covered at Light Reading's second Big Telecom Event on June 9-10 in Chicago. Get yourself registered today or get left behind!


ON.Lab published specifics on its metrics and Blackbird's performance on the ONOS Project wiki.

Also, ON.Lab added two partners to its organization in February, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and China's SK Telecom. (See SK Telecom Bets on SDN for Wireless and Cisco, SK Telecom Join ONOS SDN Initiative.)

ON.Labs Membership
ON.Labs added Cisco and SK Telecom as members. 
[Source: ON.Labs]
ON.Labs added Cisco and SK Telecom as members.
[Source: ON.Labs]

SK Telecom is working with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to develop 5G technology based on ONOS, Appalaraju says.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected]

danielcawrey 4/5/2015 | 4:05:25 PM
Re: Not me-too I think this is something carriers could rely on as an OpenDaylight for their own vertical. Makes a lot of sense to me because their demands are differentiated from those implementing other types of IT infrastraucture. 
Mitch Wagner 4/4/2015 | 7:26:11 PM
Not me-too When I first heard about ON.Lab in the fall, it sounded like a me-too organization following Open Daylight. However, it looks like ON.Lab is distinguishing itself by focusing on carriers, and may end up competing with ODL.
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