Open Network Featured Article

ONOS Project Introduces Leaf-Spine Fabric for Software-Centric World

July 27, 2016

Software-centric data centers can now be much higher performance and more scalable due to a new open source, white box-based leaf-spine fabric made available by the ONOS Project. This is considered an industry first, and CORD will be among its first applications.

“This is an L2/L3 SDN fabric with state-of-the-art white box hardware and completely open source switch, controller and application software,” explained Saurav Das, principal architect at the Open Networking Foundation. “No traditional networking protocols found in commercial solutions are used inside the fabric, which instead uses an integrated SDN-based solution.”

This solves the performance and scalability problems of SDN through the use of modern merchant silicon ASICs, the fabric control application design, and ONOS technology, added Das of the ONF.

The ONF and the Open Networking Lab (better known as ON.Lab) collaborated with the ONOS Project on this leaf-spine fabric. Ciena Blue Planet, Edgecore Networks (News - Alert), and various other vendors, enterprises, and service providers are also involved with the effort.

That fabric employs Edgecore Networks hardware and switch software from the Open Compute Project. And it builds on ONF’s Atrium release and the SPRING-OPEN (News - Alert) project.

As noted above, the project know as CORD, which is hosted by The Linux Foundation, is leveraging the fabric. CORD stands for central office rearchitected as a data center. It refers to an approach of providing infrastructure-as-a-service and networking services as tenant applications for this infrastructure. This concept combines the cloud, commodity infrastructure, NFV, open building blocks, and SDN to bring the agility of the cloud and the economies of scale found in the data center to service provider networks – spanning from the equipment at the home or office customer premises, to the access part of the network, to the telco’s central office. As I reported about a year ago at this time, key components of CORD include commodity hardware, NFVI orchestration (XOS, Openstack), an Open Leaf Spine Fabric, an SDN Control Plane (ONOS), simple on-premises customer premises equipment and virtualized CPE, virtualized access (PON OLT MAC + vOLT), virtualized BNG, and virtualized functions.

Edited by Maurice Nagle