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Thursday, 07 May 2015 12:42

CSIRO, AARNet part of ‘breakthrough’ global open SDN project


The CSIRO and Australian not-for-profit research network AARNet are part of coalition which has successfully deployed of an Open Networking Operating System-based software-defined peering router.

The router, located at AARNet/CSIRO in Australia, exchanges routes with the Vandervecken software-defined networking (SDN) controller stack at ESnet in California and uses high performance data planes comprised of Corsa switches in both locations.

As well as the CSIO and AARNet, the coalition includes the Open Networking Operating System (ONOS) Project,  the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), Corsa Technology (Corsa) and ESnet.

AARNet and CSIRO jointly facilitated and hosted the peering router in Sydney, with AARNet providing the trans-Pacific layer 2 connectivity and hosting the Corsa switch, while CSIRO hosted the ONOS control plane software of the peering router in a virtual machine in a research cloud located approximately15km away.

"AARNet and CSIRO are very excited to be partners in this project to help demonstrate working implementations of SDN technology,” said CSIRO Research Engineer Craig Russell.

Our organisations are currently collaborating in an Australian government funded initiative with nine Australian universities to build an ONOS-based SDN test-bed to demonstrate the real value of SDN to Australian companies and accelerate its uptake. This project shows that scalable, SDN-IP software stacks can be deployed on real networks."

David Wilde, AARNet's network architect said, "This project is a great example of a global collaboration in an exciting area of technology. Much of the focus in SDN until now has been on networking within the datacentre, so it's an important step forward to see this work across a wide-area network."

ONF executive director Dan Pitt said the successful deployment of the software-defined peering solution across continents was an important milestone in the development of next-generation IP networks and the adoption of open SDN.

"The collaborative effort from these organisations enables this communication across continents and demonstrates an international effort in the advancement of SDN.

“This project builds on our successful development of a segment router, incorporates the OpenFlow protocol between the control and data planes, and will serve as a foundation for additional ONF and community-based projects."  

The coalition said in a statement that the deployment validates the benefits of open source SDN principles to flexibly deliver agile applications at a fraction of the cost of traditional proprietary networking solutions.

“Successfully deploying carrier-grade SDN applications with control and data planes capable of running at Internet-scale capacity in the WAN using disparate SDN systems represents an important milestone for the networking industry”.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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