World's Highest Performance SDN Software Switch to Be Unveiled as Open Source Software

World's Highest Performance SDN Software Switch to Be Unveiled as Open Source                                    Software  PR Newswire  TOKYO, June 18, 2014  TOKYO, June 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  - Promoting Expansion of SDN Eco-systems Based on Open Source Software -  Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT, TSE: 9432, NYSE: NTT) announced on June 18 that the SDN software switch "Lagopus" will be unveiled in July 2014 as Open Source Software (OSS). The switch is widely compliant with OpenFlow 1.3 and features performance and functions suitable for both data centers and wide area networks. The corporation has also established the SDN Switches Test Center, which is leveraging the "Ryu SDN Framework" already released as OSS. Through these activities NTT aims to expand OSS-based SDN eco-systems with the participation of various companies, universities, and research organizations.  (Photo: )  1. Background In recent years SDN (*1) and NFV(*2) have become particularly important inthe drive to achieve adaptive and rapid network deployment and addedfunctionality for network services. The focus of these technologies is onsoftware-oriented rather than hardware-oriented network functions,especially dedicated LSIs. As SDN begins to be implemented into datacenters, it is expected that its advantages will also be applied to wide area networks(*3). Thus, wide functionality and high-performance forwardingare required for controllers and switches, both of them principalcomponents of SDN.  In the field of SDN switches, NTT Network Innovation Laboratories arepromoting R&D in the O3 Project(*4) as part of a "Research and Developmentof Network Virtualization Technology" program commissioned by the Ministryof Internal Affairs and Communications. A prototype SDN software switch"Lagopus" that enabled 10 Gbps forwarding was successfully developed inDecember 2013. Demonstrations and presentations of Lagopus have been warmlyapplauded by network experts and given them high expectations for itsfuture.  In the area of SDN controllers, NTT Software Innovation Center releasedthe "Ryu SDN Framework" as OSS in 2012. The framework has since beenmodified to extend its functionality with the participation of variouscompanies, universities, and research organizations. Specifically, the Ryu SDN Framework can handle not only OpenFlow(*5), one of the leading specifications for SDN development, but also a wide variety of protocolsneeded for coordination with existing network nodes. In consequence it was unhesitatingly selected by Broadcom Corporation, a firm which is developingOpenFlow enabled LSIs, OpenStack Project(*6) engaged in cloud platformconstruction and other activities.  With the Lagopus switch updated from a prototype to a product qualified for general use, NTT will be providing it as OSS to further accelerate theexpansion of SDN eco-systems with the Ryu SDN Framework.  2. Challenges for expanding SDN eco-systems To assist SDN developers and users, NTT Network Innovation Laboratories andNTT Software Innovation Center will establish a test center for OpenFlowswitches and will provide Lagopus as OSS. The expectation is that the combined use of the updated Lagopus switch and the Ryu SDN Framework will help to expand the SDN applicable area from data centers to wide areanetworks. NTT is also aiming at the expansion of SDN eco-systems based onOSS.  Challenges to be faced are as follows:  (1). Providing Lagopus as OSS With NTT providing the highly-functional, high-performance Lagopusswitch as OSS, the organization aims to work together with companies, research organizations, and universities to accelerate SDN R&D. Since Lagopus was designed and developed for servers widely sold in markets, its inclusion in them will better enable buyers to select a serverwhose price and performance suits their purposes. In particular, Lagopus can be applied in wide area networks due to its fast packetprocessing performance that previous software switches cannot achieve. It is expected that ongoing user growth will help to expanddevelopers' communities. Likewise, it is expected that the use ofLagopus will help to expand and mature eco-systems through theaddition of new functions, the stabilization of software, thedevelopment of tie-in tools, the maintenance of documents, and theaccumulation of know-how.  The first version of Lagopus will be available as OSS in July 2014(  (2). Development of a conformance test tool for OpenFlow switches The Ryu SDN Framework is used by many switch developers due to itshigh conformance with OpenFlow specifications. In conjunction with this, NTT has been developing a conformance test tool for OpenFlowswitches. Since OpenFlow specifications tend to be updated frequentlyand since they describe the determination of wide areas, it isdifficult to speedily develop SDN switches that are highly compliantwith them. To address this issue, NTT has co-developed a betterconformance test tool with the help of various developers and users,in the same way as in the Ryu SDN Framework development process. Thistest tool is included in the Ryu SDN Framework and can be used byanyone.  (3). Providing results obtained with the conformance test tool for various OpenFlow switches Results obtained with the conformance test tool for various OpenFlowswitches' have been published online( ). When systemdevelopers or application developers want to use OpenFlow switches,they should inspect suitable hardware- or software-based switches onthe basis of their needs. By referring to these published testresults, developers and users can easily check the conformance scoresof various SDN switches. Thus, the results are expected to aid inpromoting the use of OpenFlow switches.Through these approaches taken at the test center, NTT aims toaccelerate cooperation with SDN developers and SDN users and also aims to expand SDN eco-systems.  3. Features of products (1). Fast SDN software switch "Lagopus" A fast SDN software switch that can be applied to wide area networksand that conforms to OpenFlow specifications  a. It is highly conformable with the latest and long-term-supportOpenFlow 1.3.4. It also supports various protocols in not only data centers but also wide area networks.  b. With its fast packet processing implementation leveraging recent server architecture components such as multi-core CPUs, and itsfast I/O processing by Intel DPDK, Lagopus can achieve the 1M flowcontrol rule support and 10 Gbps forwarding performance needed forlarge scale and broadband forwarding processing in wide areanetworks.  (2). SDN controller "Ryu SDN Framework" A software platform that provides tools and libraries for easydeployment of SDN networks  a. Controlling various OpenFlow switchesIn comparison with other SDN controllers, Ryu can handle a widerrange of OpenFlow versions (1.0, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4) and thus can control more OpenFlow switches.  b. Interoperability of existing network nodesSince Ryu supports various protocols for existing network nodes, itcan be applied even during network migration. Details on the Ryu SDN Framework are available at  4. Future plans NTT will expand open source communities to accelerate not only widespreadutilization of our approaches but also functional extension and performanceincrease with the cooperation of co-developers. The organization will alsopromote market expansion by leveraging open source software and aim at  expanding SDN/NFV technology and stimulating business.  5. Notes (*1) SDN stands for "Software Defined Networking." (*2) NFV stands for "Network Functions Virtualisation." (*3) Wide area networks span a wide geographical area provided by carriers. (*4) See the press release, "O3 Project launched for achieving the world'sfirst wide area SDN." (*5) OpenFlow is the first standard interface designed specifically for SDN, providing high-performance, granular traffic control across multiple vendors' network devices. (Cited from ONF SDN White Paper: (*6) OpenStack is a global collaboration of developers and cloud computingtechnologists producing the ubiquitous open source cloud computingplatform for public and private clouds. (Cited from OpenStack web site. )  Contact: Shigemi Mori Public Relations Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation Tel: +81-46-240-5157 e-mail:    SOURCE Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation  Website: Website: Website: Website: Website: Website: Website:  
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