T-Nova final year demo and project review outcome

The ICCLab T-Nova members are back from the 3rd and final project review meeting that was held on March 16th in Athens, Greece. Couple of days before that, we were enrolled in the preparation and setup of the final demos at N.C.S.R. Demokritos premises.

Several demonstrations were shown to the reviewers during the demo session in order to point out the achievements in the last year of the project. Moreover a poster session was held in parallel to stress the contributions in terms of conference and journal papers published within the project’s scope, Figure 1.

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SDN beyond OpenFlow – spotlight of the 7th SDN workshop in Switzerland

Last week we organised the 7th SDN workshop with our collaborators and co-organisers SWITCH at their own premises in Zurich. The bi-annual workshop was the 2nd in the series of this year’s workshop. Wondering why the 7th SDN workshop took place for only half a day? So did we with our co-organiser SWITCH, before we got to know it was a public holiday in many Swiss cantons 🙂

Nonetheless and as usual, it brought high quality speakers and talks in a relaxed atmosphere of discussions and debates. What follows is a short recap of the presentations, as usual for those who missed the event.

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SDN model definition in Netfloc and data representation in Netflogi

After the latest work on Heat support for Netfloc service chaining, the SDN team used the summer’s quiet month of August to update some of the features in Netfloc and Netflogi.

A new extension to the API set is the functionality to retrieve the current service chains created in Netfloc. This has been made possible with the improvement of the Netfloc service yang definition and the persistent data record from Netfloc into the MD-SAL repository. Using this APIs the providers of a Netfloc service can now issue RPC requests to the datastore inventory and retrieve the current data and state of the service. This improves the resilience by keeping the network state and the chain aligned and consistent in case of Netfloc restart.

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Orchestrate your network service with Netfloc plugin for OpenStack Heat

Stitching virtual network functions (VNFs) together in a so called Network (Service) Function Chain is not a novelty any longer. Described in our previous post, the SDN team had already worked on creating SFC library support for OpenStack in our SDK for SDN. In this blog we describe the advances made towards integrating Netfloc services with both, Heat Orchestration Template (HoT) – based orchestrators and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) – based orchestrators.

To do so, and also to make a step towards automatizing the SFC management with Netfloc, we created a Heat plugin for Netfoc. It is based on the Netfloc API library for managing network service chains in OpenStack clouds. The parameters required to create the service include: OpenDaylight credentials, the IP and the port of the Netfloc node, along with the Neutron port IDs of the VNF instances.

For a network service operator, applying the plugin makes it very simple to deploy multiple chains in OpenStack cloud infrastructure. An example includes a packet inspection VNF that determines if the traffic is video and the type of the video service, and sends it further to a virtual transcoding unit VNF for quality adjustment. If data traffic is detected, packets are steered to a virtual security appliance acting as a virtual firewall, which sends them further to a virtual proxy VNF and a deep packet inspection VNF.

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SDN/NFV Paradigm: Where the Industry meets the Academia

After 7 months, Service Engineering and SWITCH are back with the regular Swiss SDN workshops, this time held on 16th of June at the ZHAW premises in Winterthur. For the 6th time, the Software Defined Networking (SDN) community from Switzerland and abroad (represented by the industry and the academia), embarked on a joint SDN-NFV full-day journey to discuss SDN, present the best practices and prototypes and share the know-how and some demonstrations of their recent research activities. As a novelty this time, the SDN workshop/meetup was collocated with the Open Cloud Day, allowing for broader attendance from participants in both events. Regular attendees and new fellows could be spot on site engaged in interesting discussions. You can find the through report of the event here from our collaborator SWITCH and i leave you below the complete list of the SDN track. The complete presentations repository could be found here. Enjoy and see you in the next events!

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Wanted: Senior Researcher / Researcher in Software Defined Networking for Clouds

Job description

The Service Engineering (SE, blog.zhaw.ch/icclab) group at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) / Institute of Applied Information Technology (InIT) in Switzerland is seeking applications for a full-time position at its Winterthur facility.

The successful candidate will work in the InIT Cloud Computing Lab (ICCLab) and will contribute to the research initiative on software defined networking for clouds.

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Service Function Chaining using the SDK4SDN

Last week in Athens we integrated the SDK4SDN aka Netfloc in the T-Nova Pilot testbed in order to showcase service function chaining using two endpoints and two VNFs (Virtual Network Functions).

NETwork FLOws for Clouds (Netfloc) is an open source SDK for datacenter network programming developed in the ICCLab SDN initiative. It is comprised of set of tools and libraries that interoperate with the OpenDaylight controller. Netfloc exposes REST API abstractions and Java interfaces for network programmers to enable optimal integration in cloud datacenters and fully SDN-enabled end-to-end management of OpenFlow enabled switches.

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5th Swiss SDN Workshop highlights

Last Friday, 13th November the 5th SDN workshop took place at the SWITCH premises in Zurich. With 9 presentations covering different aspects of Software Defined Networking and around 40 attendees, we are happy to bring together the academia and industry partners on the same table in order to provide to the community a complete overview of the most recent results, products and open source SDN solutions.

 

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Compared with the previous workshops, talks from the industry were prevalent this time, which brought variety but most importantly an intent to close the gap between SDN research projects and grand-scale solutions based on customer use cases.

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4th SDN Workshop in Bern

Yesterday for the 4th time the ICCLab organized the SDN workshop at the University of Bern in cooperation with SWITCH. We had around 25 participants and 7 talks that tackled SDN in the world of cloud computing, NFV, IXP, video content delivery, high performance cloud, authentication request routing and access control etc. All these solutions coming from different projects from the academia and the industry.

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Software Defined Networking for Clouds

Description

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a technology that has introduced an important paradigm shift in the networking world. With the OpenFlow protocol as a main technological enabler, the essential goal is to extend the conventional network configuration approach by introducing the concept of network control and programmability.

The advances in the OpenFlow protocol and the strong community involved in the OpenDaylight (ODL) framework has significantly leveraged SDN over the past few years, which booked it a ticket as a de-facto technology in the datacenter network management journey. To follow this initiative, OpenStack has been a pioneer technology that urged to provide a direct SDN support for Neutron. Such approach has introduced new challenges arising from the direct mapping of network traffic between the physical hosts and the virtual tenant networks.

Identifying scenarios that embrace different issues to consider, has a high priority in the current SDN world. With the main focus on SDN-managed datacenter networks, this initiative will provide a technical implementation and know-how on managing cloud-based network resources in a straightforward manner.

Objectives

The “SDN for clouds at the ICCLab” mission involves: establishing use cases, revealing potential issues, analyzing alternative approaches and optimizations in order to achieve efficient networking for classical datacenters, network carriers, Internet Service Providers and Cloud providers. The tasks to achieve this include:

  • Provide on-demand, scalable, commodity deployment to facilitate SDN knowledge transfer to academia and business partners
  • Provide Network as a Service for the tenants
  • Monitor and optimize intra-cloud-traffic
  • Automate changing flows with the SDN-controller
  • Minimize complexity of the network logic
  • Efficient handling of QoS and QoE network parameters
  • Independent network-hardware vendors

Research Challenges

The on-going technology and protocols applied to cloud networking are not optimal in terms of resource usage, reliability, deployment and maintenance. For example, the current implementation of Open Stack Neutron relies on different tunnelling mechanisms in order to provide isolation and multi-tenancy support. From a network application developer point of view, this is inefficient since it injects additional overhead and impedes a transparent application development.

To address the issues in that context, we define the following research tasks:

  • Reconsider the current concepts and state of the art proposals and determine a sophisticated solution towards optimized SDN design for modern cloud architectures
  • Define competitive use cases as direct controllers and evaluators of our SDN solution
  • Provide a high level framework for management of cloud based network resources in a uniform manner

Relevance to current and future markets

Having in-house deployment implies an up and running environment prepared to leverage ideas deployed and tested over commodity-hardware. The ICCLab SDN testbed will essentially facilitate the validation of use cases towards comprehensive solutions. The high-level framework on top of the ODL controller will provide smart virtual datacenter management in OpenStack deployments, and potentially target industry partners among the content delivery network companies, like Akamai for example, IPTV and streaming service providers. We also aim to expand the cooperation by exchanging technical expertise with industry partners involved in the SDN-Cloud field.

Impact

Articles and Info

Contact Point

Irena Trajkovska – mailto:traj@zhaw.ch