Open Networking Foundation releases Atrium to advance open source SDN

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) announced the release of Atrium, an open software-defined networking (SDN) software distribution designed to help the network industry more easily adopt open SDN by integrating established open source SDN software with some critical connecting pieces.

The first piece of the release, Atrium 2015/A, incorporates the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), the Open Network Operating System (ONOS) and Open Compute Project (OCP) components. The software elements run in either controllers or switches, communicating using OpenFlow protocol, and include plug-in opportunities for other switching solutions to help foster an open ecosystem with interoperable, hardware-based OpenFlow switches, according to ONF.

"The idea behind Atrium, which was built on some other things we had done, is to look at what's out there. There are a lot of piece parts coming from different places, but how do you actually turn it into some kind of a usable system? It's not so easy," said Dan Pitt, executive director of the ONF.

If you want a PC, for example, you can buy one pre-configured or you can visit the electronics store and buy a motherboard, CPU, storage, memory, power supply and other components to build your own PC. Most people don't have the wherewithal or patience to build their own. "But that's kind of how it's been with SDN," he said. "You've got a mostly proprietary solution from a vendor or if you want a really open source solution, you've got to cobble it together yourself. What we're doing is cobbling one together ourselves for everybody else's benefit, and that's what Atrium is."

He added that it's just a first step--it's a stack or framework that is intended to be built upon and for others in the community to add to it. Atrium 2015/A inlcudes a collection of OpenFlow 1.3 device drivers in ONOS meant for talking to vendor equipment with different hardware pipelines.

Atrium will be available by the end of June with documentation for installation, configuration and operation, as well as full testing for functionality tests. It also will be on display in the SDN Solutions Showcase at the Open Networking Summit June 15-18 in Santa Clara, Calif. 

Last month, the ONF and ONOS project joined with a coalition that deployed a software-defined peering router that successfully exchanged thousands of routes across a trans-Pacific link between a switch in Australia and SDN controller stack in Berkeley, Calif. That collaboration demonstrated that SDN can be used to meet wide-area network routing requirements.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
Nokia Networks tries to shake up cloud market with AirFrame launch
Cisco adds SDN expertise with purchase of startup Embrane
Huawei collaborates with ONOS, ONF on open SDN ecosystem
Why AT&T, Verizon, Ericsson and the rest of the industry is embracing SDN and NFV
Open Networking Foundation extending OpenFlow SDN to wireless, mobile
ONF envisioning a more wireless-friendly OpenFlow

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