OpenDaylight's delayed SDN now available

OpenDaylight, the vendor-heavy consortium developing an open source SDN framework, has announced that its first software release is available for download.

OpenDaylight's "Hydrogen" release was initially scheduled to come out in December, but the amount of contributions and number of contributors necessitated more time.

"OpenDaylight started with just a handful of developers in April 2013 and since then, 154 have contributed to the codebase," says Neela Jacques, OpenDaylight executive director. "In open source, software release timing is fluid and there were a lot of moving parts in this first release that the community wanted to make sure worked cohesively to ensure a solid foundation for continued work and refinement."

With the release of Hydrogen, enterprises, service providers, equipment vendors and researchers can download it for evaluation, commercialization, and deployment as the basis for software-defined networking and network functions virtualization (NFV).  Hydrogen contains over a million lines of code, and is available in three versions, depending on requirements: Base Edition, Virtualization Edition and Service Provider Edition.

Hydrogen Base Edition is for those who are exploring SDN and OpenFlow for proof-of-concepts or academic initiatives in physical or virtual environments. Base includes a multiprotocol SDN controller; an OpenFlow 1.3 protocol library and plugin; support for the Open vSwitch Database configuration and management protocol; and Java-based NETCONF and YANG tools.

Hydrogen Virtualization Edition for data centers includes all the components of Base plus functionality for creating and managing Virtual Tenant Networks and virtual overlays, and includes applications for security and network management. On top of Base it includes Affinity Metadata Service APIs to express workload relationships and service levels; Defense4All DDoS detection and mitigation; OpenDOVE multitenant network virtualization overlay; and multitenant network virtualization using OpenFlow.

Service Provider Edition is for providers and carriers who manage existing networks and want to plot a path to SDN and NFV. It includes Base plus support of protocols commonly found in service provider networks, as well as security and network management applications.

Components of Service Provider Edition include Affinity Metadata Service APIs and Defense4All, plus BGP-LS traffic engineering and Path Computational Element protocol; Locator/identifier Separation Protocol (LISP) plugin and LISP mapping service for creating virtual networks; and SNMP protocol support and APIs to manage commodity Ethernet switches.

Concurrent with the Hydrogen release, IBM announced an SDN controller based on it. The IBM Software Defined Network for Virtual Environments supports OpenFlow, and VMware and KVM hypervisors.

In addition to a controller, SDN VE includes virtual switches for creating overlays, gateways to non-SDN environments and interfaces for application integration. SDN VE is designed to speed network provisioning for enterprise network administrators.

IBM SDN VE availability is planned for this quarter.

There are reports that IBM is looking to sell off its SDN operations. IBM declined comment.

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 27 years, 22 at Network World. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy.

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