Avaya, Inocybe Take Giant Stride in IoT Scaling

Avaya Inc. and Inocybe Technologies have demonstrated a system that promises to support as many as 168,000 connected devices. The two companies believe this would be the largest number of devices, by a wide margin, ever supported on an open, standards-based SDN architecture.

The contention was backed up by Neela Jacques, executive director of the OpenDaylight Project, who said it is the largest-scaling architecture that OpenDaylight is aware of.

The challenges for any IoT architecture are to scale up to more and more devices, and to do so securely. More devices "increase management complexity and pose possible threat entry points for unauthorized access that can wreak havoc with critical network functions and data," the two companies say.

Avaya conducted a live lab-based test using its SDN Fx architecture and its Open Network Adapter (ONA). Essentially what they did, they explained, was to run a cluster of controllers behind a load balancer to make it appear as if the cluster were a single entity.

Inocybe, which specializes in OpenDaylight-based SDN architectures, provided a commercial turn-key OpenDaylight platform to perform SDN control of Avaya’s SDN Fx IoT architecture.

The demo was based on deployments of Avaya's SDN Fx Healthcare solution, which was announced in February. That system was developed with the expectation that customers would connect tens of thousands of devices.

Avaya provided some specifics of the system that was tested. It said an individual ODL instance is enabled to support up to 660 multi-protocol (Openflow and NetConf) virtual switches -- in this case, the Avaya ONA. Each edge switch port connects to a virtual switch (the ONA) that connects to an IoT device to be managed.

Following that, multiple paired instances of Avaya’s ODL controller act as a cluster behind a load balancer, provided by KEMP Technologies Inc. , which allows the cluster to be viewed as a single entity by IoT devices. The maximum possible number of controllers in the system is 255. Multiply that by the number of virtual switches (660) got the two companies to a potential 168,300 connected devices on the system.

Finally, a distributed main-memory database and messaging bus allows the SDN solution to provide real-time data replication and consistency across different applications and services for a single control path failover; thus, creating a highly available environment where IoT devices can reconnect to ODL in a near transparent fashion, Avaya said.

Meanwhile, the Inocybe platform performed the following management duties:

  • Advanced network segmentation to reduce catastrophic breaches.
  • Automate more secure on-boarding of new devices.
  • Manage inventory of thousands of devices.
  • Assign flow priority by device and traffic type.

— Brian Santo, Senior Editor, Components, T&M, Light Reading

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