Tencent Goes to 11 With OpenDaylight

To support growth, the social network and gaming platform is turning to the open source SDN controller.

Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading

July 28, 2015

3 Min Read
Tencent Goes to 11 With OpenDaylight

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- OpenDaylight Summit -- The OpenDaylight Project kicked off its annual conference with a coup, in the form of a full-throated endorsement from the massive Tencent platform.

Tencent is building out its SDN infrastructure to support scale that's "extreme in every way," Neela Jacques, executive director of the OpenDaylight Project, said in a blog post. The Chinese social network and gaming platform has asked partners to standardize this year on OpenDaylight for SDN controllers.

In other words, Tencent is taking that "extra push over the cliff" with OpenDaylight.

Tencent, one of the world's largest Internet companies, has over 500 million monthly active accounts for its WeChat and QQ messaging apps, generating more than $13 billion in annual revenue, Jacques said.

Tencent has been using the OpenDaylight controller for more than a year. Jacques's blog post includes an overview of the project that he attributed to Marty Ma, senior director of Tencent's Technology and Engineering Group.

Tencent launched its SDN for Data Center Interconnection project in June 2013, with an eye toward improving bandwidth usage of expensive WAN connections and improving efficiency using the SDN controller and network services orchestrator. Tencent began work that December on an SDN solution named CODENET comprising OVS, VxLAN networking and the SDN controller, to provide flexible network resource scheduling and orchestration, supporting complex data center networking virtualization. Also that month, Tencent launched a project named Apollo to research and develop a distributed cluster SDN controller system, for high availability, high performance and high capacity, Jacques's post says.

Apollo delivered an internally developed prototype in May 2014 which delivered the design criteria for high availability, performance and capacity. But by then there were new challenges: "New different SDN solutions were emerging and there were too many different requirements, such as different southbound protocols, different SDN applications and different distributed controller models," Jacques's post says. So Tencent switched from Apollo to OpenDaylight.

Tencent joined with Baidu and Alibaba to form the ODL Practice Committee of China in March 2015, Jacques's post says. ODL user groups have been founded in five cities in China, with Tencent hosting the Shenzhen ODLUG.

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Tencent decided to work with OpenDaylight due to scalability, performance, the variety of southbound protocols supported -- including OpenFlow, PCE and NETCONF -- and extensibility to support more southbound protocols, Jacques's post says.

Jacques attributes a statement to Ma: "Tencent has been using the OpenDaylight platform for more than one year and have requested that all SDN controllers built by our partners become compatible with OpenDaylight by the end of 2015."

OpenDaylight is one of several open source SDN controllers in development. Another package, ONOS, recently won a big deployment on the Internet2 research network, and is being used by AT&T and chip vendors PCM-Sierra and Sckipio Technologies in a proof-of-concept called Central Office Re-architected as Data Center (CORD) for developing a cloud-oriented WAN. (See ONOS Expands Its Reach on Internet2 and AT&T to Show Off Next-Gen Central Office.)

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— 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].

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About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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