Home » Pica8 Deep Dive » First Integrated Open OVS Switch and OpenFlow Controller

In Matthew Palmer’s blog “vSwitch is the New Battleground. What Every Datacenter Operator Must Know ”,  he made a point that “there is an Open-Source vSwitch, but no ‘Open’ vSwitch”. Matt’s concern is “… What’s different from these (open source) projects and OVS is the core contributions and governmence for OVS is controlled by a single company: Nicira”. While we disagree OVS is controlled by a single company,  ie. Nicira, we recognize this could be many people’s concern. No datacenter operator wants to be locked in.

At Pica8, we are addressing this concern with an open platform that enables the open community to innovate on both the device AND the controller of OpenFlow v1.2. Our goal is to enable the innovation and to build a complete platform that allows innovators to deploy applications quickly, just like Android.

This open platform includes the open OVS running on an open switch based on commercial silicons. At the controller side, we have integrated RYU, an open source OpenFlow controller, supported by both NTT, Pica8, and the open communities. With Pica8 supporting and integrating RYU and open OVS, these two SDN components will be synchronized and fully inter-operable to facilitate the application development.

Our goal is to move OpenFlow from labs to deployment. We want to involve the open source community to address and solve many deployment and real data center issues. The availability of a production ready hardware accelerated Open OVS switch along with a supported open source controller will open up the applicatios, just like Android enabling the innovations of mobile Apps.

OVS Hardware

The switching platform is Pica8 3780; running Linux 2.6 OS and Open OVS v1.7.1

OpenFlow Controller

RYU OpenFlow controller v 1.4 http://osrg.github.com/ryu/ supported by NTT, Pica8, and open community.

RYU-OVS Switch integration

Starting a SDN development and deployment is a daunting task. It is difficult to identify controller options, device capabilities and performance, and inter-operability between the controller and device. We want to make this easy. By providing RYU and OVS, both with open-source implementations, we want to enable users to innovate and customize their network.

We are publishing a trilogy to show users how to step-by-step set up the test environment and insert the first flow into their OVS switch. The three documents include

Besides the detailed step-by-step instruction, we also provide reference to several awesome open-source tools, such as packet generator and sniffer, to help users verify their applications. After going through these three technical guide, you should be able to bring up RYU and OVS, insert 1-to-1 uni-directonal flow, 1-to-many flows, and many-to-1 flows.

The purpose of the documentation is to enable anyone with minimum OpenFlow knowledge to configure the switch for the same scenarios in a couple of days. Once you have done the scenarios, you should be able to start exploring the switch and controller on your own. If you need a complete set of three documents, please send a mail to Pica8 support (support@pica8.com) or send me a mail at david.liu AT pica8.com with a subject “Send me Open SDN Technical Reference”.

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