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ONOS Releases Emu to Accelerate SDN and NFV Solutions

December 03, 2015

For those in both the Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) communities, hopefully you are familiar with ONOS. If you are not, now would be a great time to start tracking what they are up to these days. 

ONOS is a Collaborative Project at The Linux Foundation. It is developing an open source SDN networking operating system for Service Provider networks. Its ecosystem comprises ON.Lab and organizations that are funding and contributing to the ONOS initiative. These include a who’s who of the telecom and networking vendors.

The ONOS community has just released the fifth platform release in this part year, Emu. Bill Snow, Vice President of Engineering at ON.Lab. notes, "The ONOS project continues to accelerate the process of quarterly releases with the participation of the community. The cadence of quarterly releases is becoming a habit and one that is very important for the rapid evolution and long term success of ONOS...We're very heartened to see the growing contributions from our community for the Emu release and use cases."

ONOS' Emu expanding capabilities

The list of significant contributions that have gone into Emu is impressive along with the speed at which ONUS in general is being enhanced.  As highlighted in more detail in the announcement the functionality capabilities and advancements in Emu include:

OPNFV and OpenStack - In order to become a controller option with OPNFV's upcoming Brahmaputra release, Emu can integrate with OPNFV and OpenStack to provide an easy pathway to future VNFaaS and NFV management and orchestration capabilities. In addition, SK Telecom is leading a project called Simplified Overlay Networking Architecture (SONA), which will ease deployment of software defined data centers, where they have provided OpenStack Switching and OpenStack interfaces for CORD.

Resource Reservation Subsystem - Fujitsu has contributed a general purpose reservation system to replace the previous ones, supporting a single, consistent interface and semantics for different types of resources. The new subsystem is also more easily extensible to new types of resources that operators may wish to bring under ONOS' control.

IP Multicast – DirecTV created the ONOS Multicast Forwarding Application (MFWD). The multicast apps MFWD and Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) support PIM-SSM Hello and Join/Prune as well as static multicast routes.

GUIs - ONOS adds the MFWD CLI and REST APIs that allow external operators and applications to examine and modify the existing MFWD state.

Service Function Chaining - Huawei has contributed significant enhancements to the virtual tenant network (VTN) system to enable ONOS to provide Layer 2 and Layer 3 (L2, L3…) virtual networks as well as IETF's Service Function Chaining (SFC).

CORD CORD brings a new architecture to the CO that began with a residential subscriber PoC at ONS2015 that will become a field trial with AT&T in the first half of 2016. The trial will also add support for mobile and enterprise PoC's in 2016.

Adaptive Flow Monitoring - Korea's Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) has added infrastructure upgrades for ONOS to perform adaptive flow monitoring.

SDN-IP - is an ONOS application that allows Software Defined Networks to connect to external networks, legacy or software-defined, using the standard Border Gateway Protocol (BGP).

Reactive Routing – Reactive routing for SDN-IP can work with and without BGP, however, without BGP it can only handle routing inside local networks.

ONOSFW - To deliver ONOS support for OPNFV, ONOS launched the ONOS Framework project (ONOSFW) in the OPNFV open source community. ONOSFW provides VTN, Layer 2, Layer 3 and SFC services in ONOS enabling applications to build tenant-based services on top of ONOS.

Image via Pixabay

Border Gateway Protocols with Link State Distribution (BGP-LS) – On southbound, Emu adds Border Gateway Protocol with Link State Distribution extension (BGP-LS) as a plug-in to the ONOS controller to collect topology information from the network and make it available to other apps. 

OTN and Packet Optical SupportONOS improved the resource reservation API. ECI enhanced ONOS' optical application to support ODU Multiplexing and ODU Cross-Connect services based on OpenFlow (ONF) Optical Transport Protocol Extensions with OCH and ODU Multiplexing with the southbound interfaces based on ONF standards.

Additional deployments – ONOS has been deployed in additional research and education networks, including KREONET-S, with additions to the AARNET and FIU/AmLight deployments.

As can be seen above, the claims about the speed at which ONOS is being enhanced are almost unprecedented. This really is good news for communications service providers looking to gain much needed operational efficiencies and have a platform that meets the scalability and resiliency requirements that the explosion in network traffic and competitive needs are mandating. It also highlights once again how the wisdom of the crowd, in this case the community, is becoming a primary way to accelerate innovation through cooperation rather than through proprietary efforts. This avoids future bottlenecks.  

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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