ON.Lab Releases 'Blackbird' Open Source SDN Operating System

Focused on carrier-grade performance, scale and availability.

April 2, 2015

2 Min Read

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- ONOS' community today announced the availability of the second release of its open source SDN Open Network Operating System (ONOS), named Blackbird, that is focused on performance, scale and high availability. ONOS is the first open source platform to define a comprehensive set of metrics for effectively evaluating the "carrier-grade quotient" of SDN control plane platforms/controllers and to publicly publish the performance evaluation of its Blackbird release using these metrics.

ONOS is architected as a distributed but logically centralized control plane to achieve high performance, scale-out and high availability. ONOS' high availability characteristics include full recovery from events such as switch and link failure, node failure, entire ONOS cluster failure, single node cluster failure, cluster partitioning and device-node communication failure.

The Blackbird release also addresses the challenge of effectively determining "the carrier-grade quotient" of the SDN control plane. Metrics currently used to measure performance, including simplistic ones such as "Cbench," do not provide a complete or accurate view of the SDN control plane capabilities thereby highlighting the need for a more indicative set of measurements.

The ONOS Blackbird release defines the following set of metrics to effectively measure performance and other carrier-grade attributes of the SDN control plane—

Performance Metrics:

  • Topology – link change latency

  • Topology – switch change latency

  • Flow operations throughput

  • Intent (Northbound) install latency

  • Intent (Northbound) withdraw latency

  • Intent (Northbound) reroute latency

  • Intent (Northbound) throughput


  • Ability to scale control plane by adding capacity

High Availability

  • Uninterrupted operation in the wake of failures, maintenance and upgrades

ONOS aims to achieve extremely high target numbers of 1,000,000 flow operations per second and less than 100 ms (and ideally under 10 ms) latency. 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.


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