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ONOS Project and ONF Deliver First White Box and Open Source Leaf-Spine Fabric For Data Centers

By 2016-07-218月 22nd, 2017Press Release

ONF and ON.Lab advance SDN with scalable and customizable fabric solution

San Francisco, July 21, 2016–ONOS® Project, a software defined networking (SDN) operating system for service providers, today announced availability of an ONOS-based leaf-spine fabric solution for data centers and service provider Central Offices. This is the first L2/L3 leaf-spine fabric on bare-metal switching hardware that is built with SDN principles and open source software. This is a result of a productive collaboration between the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the adoption of open SDN, and Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab), a nonprofit building open source communities to realize the full potential of SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV).

Leaf-spine fabric technology is ideal for any enterprise in which the underlay fabric plays a key role in the infrastructure or service provider network operator interested in utilizing a hardware-based, modern data center fabric that leverages white boxes and open source for easy customization. Service providers and vendors are beginning to field test the fabric as part of the Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORDTM) initiative from ON.Lab.

“Underlay and overlay fabrics represent important ONOS use cases,” said Guru Parulkar, executive director of ON.Lab. “ONOS Project, in partnership with ONF and several active ONOS collaborators, have delivered a highly flexible, economical and scalable solution as software defined data centers gain momentum. This is also a great example of collaboration between ONF and ON.Lab to create open source solutions for the industry.”

Fabric Enables a Truly Integrated SDN-Based Solution

The fabric is built on Edgecore bare-metal hardware from the Open Compute Project (OCP) and switch software, including OCP’s Open Network Linux and Broadcom’s OpenFlow Data Plane Abstraction (OF-DPA) API. It leverages earlier work from ONF’s Atrium and SPRING-OPEN projects that implemented segment-routed networks using SDN.

“This is an L2/L3 SDN fabric with state-of-the-art white box hardware and completely open source switch, controller and application software,” said Saurav Das, principal architect at the Open Networking Foundation. “No traditional networking protocols found in commercial solutions are used inside the fabric, which instead uses an integrated SDN-based solution. In the past, the promise of SDN has fallen short in delivering HA, scale and performance. The fabric control application design, together with ONOS, and the full use of modern merchant silicon ASICs solve all of these problems. In addition, the use of SDN affords a high degree of customizability for rapidly introducing newer features in the fabric. CORD’s usage of the fabric is an excellent example of such customization.”

Besides bridging and routing, new features include:

  • HA and scale support with multi-instance ONOS controller cluster (previous work was with single-controller)

  • Integration with vRouter for interfacing with traditional networks using BGP and/or OSPF

  • Integration with CORD’s vOLT for residential access network support

  • Support for IPv4 Multicast forwarding for residential IPTV streams in CORD

  • Integration with CORD’s XOS-based orchestration framework

“Edgecore open network switches are deployed as the underlay network in leaf-spine topologies for data center and telecom infrastructures,” said Jeff Catlin, vice president technology, Edgecore Networks. “ONOS and the fabric control application design, with ONOS and open network switches, provides a more highly scalable and resilient network fabric. The deployment of OCP switches in open SDN deployments is critical for accelerating the continued development of the open SDN ecosystem.”

The number of service providers, developers and networking professionals experimenting and contributing to the fabric continues to grow. Ciena Blue Planet, a network specialist and ONOS partner, is adding test cases for build and deployment automation. Services providers, enterprises and individual developers interested in getting involved may download, test, contribute new features and initiate lab and production trials to make the fabric solution even stronger. To join the active discussion, send an email to

Whether an individual or an organization, all are encouraged to get involved with the growing open source CORD community. Both the ONOS and CORD Projects are hosted by The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration.

“ONF is working with organizations including ONOS to develop an ecosystem and the architecture needed to assist network operators to more easily build custom solutions, and to allow vendors to take advantage of common building blocks, reducing their development costs, and improving interoperability,” said Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation. “ONF is committed to accelerating the adoption of open SDN through the organization’s collaborative efforts in standards, architecture, interoperability, interfaces, market education, and the development and curation of open source software projects. We look forward to fostering our relationships with ON.Lab and all the relevant open source organizations.”

Additional Resources

About ONOS Project
ONOS® is the open source SDN networking operating system for Service Provider networks architected for high performance, scale and availability. The ONOS ecosystem comprises ON.Lab,organizations that are funding and contributing to the ONOS initiative, and individual contributors. These organizations include AT&T, China Unicom, NTT Communications Corp., SK Telecom Co. Ltd., Verizon, Ciena Corporation, Cisco Systems, Inc., Ericsson, Fujitsu Ltd., Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Intel Corporation, NEC Corporation, and Nokia. See the full list of members, including ONOS’ collaborators, and learn how you can get involved with ONOS at

ONOS is an independently funded software project hosted by The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration to fuel innovation across industries and ecosystems.

About ONF
The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) originated the global Software Defined Networking (SDN) movement. The organization works to define, promote, and accelerate the adoption of open SDN through the development of the OpenFlow protocol, northbound interfaces, information models, and related architectures. To further speed adoption, ONF is strongly committed to the development and ongoing curation of open source software via the organization’s open source community and code repository Organizations from around the world actively participate in ONF to cultivate a commercial ecosystem of products, services, applications, customers, and users. For further details visit the ONF website at

About ON.Lab

Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab) is a non-profit organization founded by SDN inventors and leaders from Stanford University and UC Berkeley to foster open source communities for developing tools and platforms to realize the full potential of SDN, NFV and cloud technologies. ON.Lab provides engineering resources on behalf of the open source ONOS, CORD, and Mininet projects among others. For further information on ON.Lab, visit


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