Virtualization Technology News and Information
Open Networking Foundation Drives Commercialization of SDN and the OpenFlow Protocol at Third PlugFest

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Software-Defined Networking (SDN), completed its third semi-annual PlugFest designed to drive interoperability, deployment, and commercialization of SDN and the OpenFlow protocol. Hosted June 3-7 at the Indiana Center for Network Translational Research and Education (InCNTRE), the first ONF certified lab for conformance testing, the event was attended by nearly 50 network engineers from 20 member companies with the common goal of ensuring that new SDN protocols work across all of their products. This year’s event saw more than 90 percent of member companies participating in testing of OpenFlow 1.3.

“This PlugFest showed that ONF has successfully encouraged implementation of OpenFlow 1.3 within its membership,” said Michael Haugh, senior manager market development at Ixia and chair of the ONF Testing & Interoperability Working Group. “Event participants were able to accomplish an equivalent of two months of quality assurance (QA) testing in a about week, complete unique testing that could take multiple months in a QA lab. The breadth of participation also allowed them to resolve features and interoperability issues with different vendors.”

During the event, member companies had the opportunity to test new software features and products that have not yet been tested for interoperability with other vendors’ software and hardware products. OpenFlow versions 1.0, 1.2, and 1.3 were tested in commercial and test controllers and hardware and virtual switches. The event also allowed member companies to work in a neutral environment to test implementations of OpenFlow-based SDN that would be commercially applied to service provider, data center, and enterprise markets.

The addition of OpenFlow 1.3 allowed member companies to address complex network behavior, optimize performance, and leverage a richer set of capabilities. Implementation of OpenFlow 1.3 also allowed for innovative test cases that spanned into performing match actions and functions in IPv6 and MPLS. IPv6 has become the standard in the data center, and the PlugFest testing shows the ability to add new resources and functions that make SDN and the OpenFlow protocol more scalable. In addition, the test cases for MPLS showed the movement of SDN and the OpenFlow protocol outside of the data center, with successful implementations performed to allow service providers greater control of the network with open and interoperable software.

“ONF PlugFests are critical to fostering deployments and enhancing implementations of OpenFlow-based SDN,” said Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation. “Through interoperability testing, ONF helps product developers get their implementations working properly and assures their customers of a supply of interoperable products. I was particularly happy to see the broad turnout for OpenFlow 1.3.”

The next ONF PlugFest will be held at the InCNTRE lab November 2013.

PlugFest Participant Testimonials:

"As industry adoption of OpenFlow increases and more vendors announce support for OpenFlow 1.3 products and controllers, we are enthusiastic about an independent entity like InCNTRE taking a leadership position in validating interoperability for customers," said Rob Sherwood, Big Switch Networks’ chief technology officer. "As one of the leading proponents of OpenFlow, Big Switch considers events that promote validated interoperability as critical to customer adoption and growth in SDN."

“As a leader in SDN technologies such as OpenFlow, Brocade was pleased to be part of ONF’s PlugFest. We view events like the PlugFest as an essential step in the customer adoption of SDN technologies. The PlugFest provides the environment for vendors to test interoperability and validate real use cases,” said Curt Beckmann, principal architect at Brocade and chairman of the Forward Abstraction Working Group within ONF. “Brocade has been a member of the ONF from the beginning, and will continue to drive the evolution of the OpenFlow standard to help bring programmability, scale, and simplicity to the network.”

"Centec continues its SDN innovation in silicon and turnkey system that are widely interoperable with other industry leading SDN solutions proven at ONF's PlugFest event at Indiana University's InCNTRE lab,” said Tao Gu , vice president of business development at Centec Networks. "We expanded our participation in this year's PlugFest in both the widely adopted OpenFlow1.0 test bed and the most advanced OpenFlow 1.3 test bed with our latest V series open SDN platform as one of the first hardware switches to support the latest Openflow 1.3 specification. We are very pleased with the interoperability test results and will continue to back ONF's efforts and collaborate with other vendors in the SDN ecosystem to drive the evolution of SDN/Openflow standard and realize the benefit of open and interoperable SDN.”

“SDN is gaining wider acceptance in the service provider community as a transformative network concept, reinforcing the importance of continuing maturation and implementation of the OpenFlow protocol,” said Chris Janz, vice president of market development at Ciena. “In this latest ONF PlugFest, Ciena has collaborated with vendor and operator counter-parts in inter-op testing. We brought our 5410 Service Aggregation Switch to the Plugfest and demonstrated OpenFlow v1.3 support. After a week of testing, it is clear to us that there has been a significant maturing of the OpenFlow ecosystem.”

“Working with ONF for its recent PlugFest, where critical technology such as the OpenFlow protocol and VM migration were tested in-depth by multiple vendors, benefits the adoption of SDN by customers around the globe,” said Sam Hague, principal engineer at Extreme Networks. “We are proud to have achieved great results and look forward to further collaboration.”

“As an active participant in ONF standardizing SDN and the OpenFlow protocol, and in the ETSI-ISG group driving the NFV initiative, Freescale® was pleased to participate in both the OpenFlow switch and controller interoperability programs at this year’s PlugFest,” said Raja Tabet, vice president of software and systems at Freescale Semiconductor’s Digital Networking business. “Turnout this year was quite strong and we are confident our collaboration with other industry leaders is helping to realize the promise of NFV, as well as SDN and the OpenFlow protocol, including its Northbound interface.”

“HP’s industry-leading portfolio of 40 OpenFlow-enabled switches, representing more than 20 million ports, benefitted from all three ONF PlugFests,” said Dave Larson, VP of Advanced Technology Group and CTO, Networking at HP. “They helped us demonstrate interoperability and market-readiness to ensure customers have confidence in building OpenFlow-based SDN solutions.”

“Huawei is once again thankful for ONF in coordinating interoperability PlugFests among ONF members. This most recent event, at Indiana University, allowed us to successfully test our OpenFlow 1.0, 1.2, and 1.3 controllers and switches with other vendors,” said Justin Joubine Dustzadeh, chief technology officer and vice president of technology strategy, networks at Huawei. “We continue participation in ONF testing events to help further the progression of open SDN. These PlugFest events foster multi-vendor interoperability and collaboration within the SDN and the OpenFlow protocol community.”

“Hosting the ONF PlugFest is one example of how InCNTRE supports the SDN industry,” said Steve Wallace, InCNTRE executive director. “By providing 50 network engineers from nearly 20 companies with access to four simultaneously operating testbeds in our state-of-the-art lab, we help them make sure that the new SDN protocols work across all their products – to essentially translate the theoretical aspects of SDN to real-world, industry situations.”

"Our continued involvement in the community is a direct response to a growing interest from our customers in implementations of OpenFlow standards,” said Stuart Bailey, chief technology officer and founder of Infoblox. “We are particularly encouraged to see vendor controllers testing with's LINC OpenFlow Switch as a reference implementation of OpenFlow standards. We look forward to continuing our work with both vendors and developers to contribute to the development of LINC OpenFlow Switch as well as other industry-leading standards, to ultimately help our customers create the foundation for their SDN strategies.”

“As an active member of ONF, Luxoft is proud to have participated at the third ONF PlugFest, presenting Twister, Luxoft's test automation framework, together with OpenFlow 1.3 conformance testing module. Luxoft’s goal was to verify inside ONF’s community the concept of OpenFlow 1.3 module. It is essential to validate the conformance test cases in conjunction with vendor hardware switches,” said Bogdan Popescu, R&D program manager at Luxoft. “The feedback we received after hands on sessions from different vendors was very positive and encourages us to continue our efforts in developing a full set of tests for OpenFlow 1.3 conformance testing. Luxoft looks forward to the next PlugFest because the event just gets better benefiting the entire ONF community.”

"Metaswitch is committed to ONF’s PlugFests, especially as its proceedings this month have so strongly validated the case for evolving traditional IP routing protocols to an SDN environment," said Andrew Randall, general manager networking business unit at Metaswitch Networks. "We believe OpenFlow 1.3 will be the basis for broader adoption of SDN and look forward to further collaboration with other leading vendors on testing and interoperability support."

“As a founding member of ONF and InCNTRE, NEC was pleased to again participate in PlugFest with our complete OpenFlow-based SDN solution, the ProgrammableFlow® Networking Suite,” said Su-Hun Yun, senior manager at NEC Corporation of America. “We have successfully demonstrated our capabilities at all three PlugFests, and Interop 2012 and 2013 with numerous OpenFlow vendors. At InCNTRE we tested the NEC ProgrammableFlow Controller with OpenFlow 1.0.1 and 1.3.1, our line of physical ProgrammableFlow switches, and the vSwitch for Microsoft Hyper-V environments, available since Q1 of 2013. PlugFest will help us drive forward rapidly to a multi-vendor OpenFlow ecosystem and deliver the full benefits of SDN to the market.”

"NoviFlow Inc. was pleased to participate in ONF’s PlugFest and to test our high-performance OpenFlow 1.3 switch with a large number of OpenFlow ecosystem partners, including controllers and applications," said Marc LeClerc, vice president of strategy and marketing of NoviFlow. "Our OpenFlow-based switches extend the limits of the number of tables, match fields, actions, instructions, throughput, and flow entries supported in a single OpenFlow device. Consequently, these ONF PlugFests provide us with a unique opportunity to test the broadest range of features and configurations all within a single venue. We are especially proud that our switch was able to demonstrate zero percent packet loss with an OpenFlow throughput of 1 Gbps. NoviFlow will surely participate in the ONF PlugFest again in the future."

“Spirent is a strong supporter of ONF’s PlugFest at Indiana University’s InCNTRE Lab and is working jointly with vendors to demonstrate interoperability and readiness of SDN and the OpenFlow protocol,” said Jurrie van den Breekel, director strategy and business development at Spirent Communications. “Spirent’s traffic generation, OpenFlow 1.0 and 1.3 controller emulation, and automated open-source switch conformance are helping vendors to advance the development of SDN and OpenFlow networking.”

"Tallac Networks is very pleased to see so many companies investing in interoperable SDN implementations," said Matt Davy, principal solutions architect for Tallac Networks. "We are also excited to clearly mark SDN's transition beyond the data center by successfully testing our Software Defined Mobility technology with many SDN products at the ONF's PlugFest event. Software Defined Mobility applies SDN technology to the delivery of managed WiFi services enabling wireless operators to connect mobile users to the network services they demand."

Published Wednesday, June 19, 2013 6:33 PM by David Marshall
There are no comments for this post.
To post a comment, you must be a registered user. Registration is free and easy! Sign up now!
<June 2013>