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New ONOS Release Drives Open Networking

April 04, 2017

Ever since the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and ON (News - Alert).Lab came together, there have been an oddly increasing number of developments in the open networking field. Just how interconnected those two events are is unclear, but it's more than clear that there's a lot of exciting new prospects emerging. Recently, the ONF / ON.Lab Open Networking Operating System (ONOS) got a new update, bringing plenty of new options along with it.

The ONOS release is set to get a slate of field demonstrations to go along with it at the Open Networking Summit, and will particularly be used to show off new capability in improving network agility using software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV). Thanks to the  changes brought about in the new version, ONOS has a much greater ability to work with different deployment options, and therefore be of more use to potential users.

With the new release comes two major changes: support for disruptive SDN, which allows more use of whitebox systems while using ONOS for better overall network control, and support for incremental SDN. With incremental SDN, it becomes much easier to use ONOS to engage in software-defined configuration of even legacy networking systems that may never have envisioned SDN.

This works as long as the control plane of such systems stays in network devices, and provides a certain level of automation, as ONOS will be able to restore a network to a desired state in the event network devices fall out of sync with the original configuration intended.

There's even more new for the ONOS project; ONOS got a boost in its flexible datacenter fabric, which now means support for AAA endpoint authentication systems, IP v6 routing systems, and even external interfaces with virtual local area network (vLAN) tagging. There's even an improved graphical user interface (GUI) that means better overall visibility—and thus control—for large networks.

That's a lot to consider, but in the end, what it really does is take an already-valuable system like ONOS and make it an even greater power in the field for open networking. There are likely still skeptics out there that this approach can work—open networking is still a comparatively young technology, after all—and by adding more capability to its purview, the end result is a system that does more in the same amount of resource space.

More businesses will likely turn to open networking as its value becomes clearer. That's good news for ONOS, which as it improves, will only be of greater value in a market that's starting to realize just what good such products can do.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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