ONF Announces 'Stratum' Switch OS Project Now Available as Open Source

Stratum is the foundation for ONF's next-generation SDN initiative.

September 10, 2019

2 Min Read

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- The ONF today announced that the Stratum project has been released as open source. Stratum is now available under the Apache 2.0 open source license, and Stratum is forming the foundation for ONF's next-generation software defined networking (SDN) work.

Stratum is an open source, silicon-independent switch operating system for software defined networks that runs on a variety of switching silicon and various whitebox switch platforms. Stratum avoids the vendor lock-in found with today's data planes that feature proprietary silicon interfaces and closed software APIs that tend to lock operators into using a specific hardware technology. Stratum makes possible easy integration of new devices into operators' networks, making Stratum the foundation for delivering a minimal production-ready distribution for white box switches.

The strict contractual relationship of a P4-based interface between a Stratum switch and its controller ensure that the switch can be swapped with a spectrum of alternatives (even those with different switching silicon from a diversity of vendors) without need for controller modification or network retest and validation. Never before has it been possible to grow and upgrade installations and adopt the latest advancements in switching silicon at the speed of cloud development.

Stratum also exposes a set of next-generation SDN interfaces including P4, P4Runtime, OpenConfig, gNMI and gNOI, enabling programmability of forwarding behaviors, zero-touch operations and full automated life-cycle management. This makes Stratum a key enabler for ONF's next-generation SDN initiative.

"Bringing project Stratum to open source is an important milestone in furthering the ONF's open networking movement," said Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, ONF. "Stratum provides a consistent set of northbound Next-Gen SDN interfaces even as it runs on a wide selection of hardware platforms leveraging a variety of switching silicon. As such, Stratum is becoming the common substrate for ONF's Next-Gen SDN stack, enabling rapid innovation, zero touch operations and a robust hardware ecosystem."

Stratum Ecosystem
Stratum has been incubated since March 2018 when Google released seed code for the project. In the intervening year, a set of collaborating organizations have been working collectively on advancing the software to make it ready for easier consumption as open source, and to support a diversity of silicon from multiple vendors. Stratum has also become the foundation layer for ONF's Next-Gen SDN initiative with the backing of this robust community supporting the project.

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