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OpenFlow News

Archive for September, 2009

Honorable Mention for OpenFlow Demo at MobiCom 2009

September 25th, 2009, Guido Appenzeller in OpenFlow Blog
Masayoshi Kobayashi and Te-Yuan Huang in Beijing

Masayoshi Kobayashi and Te-Yuan Huang in Beijing

The OpenFlow demo “Lossless Handover with n-casting between WiFi-WiMAX on OpenRoads” won an honorable mention at MobiCom 2009 in Beijing this week. Congratulations to Kok-Kiong Yap, Te-Yuan Huang, Masayoshi Kobayashi, Michael Chan, Rob Sherwood, Guru Parulkar and Nick McKeown. This is the second award for the OpenRoads team in the past months after their Best Poster Award at SIGCOMM 2009.

The Abstract for the Poster can be found on TY’s home page and a video explaining the demo is embedded above. The  video embedded below gives an overview of the technology and is also available in an HD version.

OpenFlow Software on Quanta LB4G Released

September 23rd, 2009, dtalayco in OpenFlow Blog

quantaThe release of OpenFlow software for the Quanta LB4G gigabit Ethernet switch provides a platform for researchers and users of OpenFlow with a low cost option for high port count, hardware accelerated, OpenFlow controlled switches. The switch provides line rate switching across 48 gigabit ports.  Initial support of 4 10-gigabit ports is also provided.

This is an experimental platform for OpenFlow development and research.  For a production ready, supported switch, see the Toroki Lightswitch 4810 announced here.

A PowerPC 8541 CPU running at 825 MHz powers the switch.  Two independent gigabit Ethernet management interfaces are provided, directly connected to the CPU for out-of-band management and control.

The hardware supports between 1000 and 2000 flows in hardware depending on usage.  Once installed, traffic matching flows will be forwarded by hardware at line rate.

tuxThebusybox1 software is based on OpenFlow 0.8.9r2 with support for OpenFlow 0.9 under development.  The distribution includes the u-boot boot loader, a Linux kernel image (2.6.15) and the kernel modules necessary to bring up and run the hardware as an OpenFlow switch.  Basic OS functionality is provided by the popular BusyBox utilities.  Configuration and user applications may be saved to the flash file system to be restored across reboot.

To receive access to the software or to provide feedback regarding the package, please send email to and include “LB4G” in the subject line.

Let us know what features you’d like to see added to the LB4G software package.

OpenFlow ported to the Netronome NFE-i8000

September 21st, 2009, Guido Appenzeller in OpenFlow Blog

OfOnNetronomeTeamYan Luo, Pablo Cascon, Eric Murray and Julio Ortega (photos of the team to the left) have implemented OpenFlow for the Netronome NFE-i8000 Network Processor Card. The joint project between the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and the University of Granada, Spain is not only adds another platform to OpenFlow, it can also claim the title as the first port of OpenFlow on a network processor card. Right now their implementation is limited to exact matches and only tested with the reference controller, but according to Prof. Luo the team is working on wild card matches as well.

The Netronome NFE-i8000 card is a PCI Express card that fits into a PC and includes 4x 1Gb/s SFP port, a 16-core IXP2855 Netowork Processor, 768MB RDRAM for packet buffering and 40MB SRAM for flow table operations. One feature that makes this hardware stand out is that it accomodates up to 250k flow table entries. Read below for details on the implementation.


Rethinking the Internet with OpenFlow at U Wisconsin-Madison

September 17th, 2009, Guido Appenzeller in OpenFlow Blog

adityaProfessor Aditya Akella at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is teaching an advanced graduate level class on rethinking the internet architecture that makes heavy use of OpenFlow. A major part of the class is practical experimentation with OpenFlow. Specifically students will write NOX modules that implement new protocols which can then be run on the OpenFlow topology that he has set up. Some of the OpenFlow nodes in the topology are NetFPGA cards, thus it is additionally possible to try out new forwarding hardware. For more information have a look at the class home page and the reading list.

Toroki Announces OpenFlow Support on LightSwitch-4810

September 17th, 2009, dtalayco in OpenFlow Blog

Toroki_logo_motoCalifornia based Toroki recently announced the LightSwitch 4810, a managed switch that is fully OpenFlow enabled.  The switch provides 48 gigabit plus 4 10-gigabit ports and claims an impressive list of advanced features including:

  • QoS features including DiffServ
  • A variety of management interfaces including SNMP and secure HTTP
  • RADIUS authentication support
  • ACLs for data plane traffic controlls4810

and many more.

We deployed the Toroki switch in our OpenFlow production network at Stanford several weeks ago and we have been very happy with its stability as well as with Toroki’s willingness to work with us.

Another advantage of the LightSwitch is that it is compatible with the Stanford OpenFlow Broadcom reference implementation. This potentially allows switching back and forth between Toroki’s production quality switch software and the more experimental but open source Stanford switch software.

Toroki provides a high density well featured switch with a variety of maintenance and support options available.  While similar switches may be available for research and development, this offering provides a validated platform with the support needed for production deployments.  Inquiries can be made via email to

Open vSwitch Announced with OpenFlow Support

September 16th, 2009, dtalayco in OpenFlow Blog

open_vswitch_thumb Browse on over to to learn about Open vSwitch, a new open source software switching package that supports OpenFlow.  This package supports a variety of high end switch features such as VLANs, inter-virtual machine communication, NIC bonding (and of course OpenFlow!) with a focus on virtualization.  The project is quickly getting attention like this posting at Virtualization Journal.  Open vSwitch is released under the Apache2 license which allows you to develop and freely distribute your work.

The goal of the project, according to its website, is to build a production quality switch for VM environments that supports standard management interfaces (e.g. NetFlow, RSPAN, ERSPAN, IOS-like CLI), and is open to programmatic extension and control. It is designed to support distribution across multiple physical servers similar to VMWare’s distributed vswitch or Cisco’s Nexus 1000v.

Because it supports OpenFlow, Open vSwitch also provides a great way to experiment without requiring the use of dedicated hardware.  Download an open source virtual machine such as VirtualBox, start a few instances of virtual machines which Open vSwitch should permit you to connect, and you can experiment with connectivity and network control using OpenFlow.

Open vSwitch shows an exciting application of the OpenFlow protocol into the important domain of virtualization.  The flexibility that OpenFlow gives in controlling network traffic provides clear advantages for managing the rapidly growing base of virtual machine deployments.

OpenFlow on OpenWrt

September 15th, 2009, julius in OpenFlow Blog

openwrt-logoTo extend the range of OpenFlow enabled devices, OpenFlow conquers the OpenWrt based wireless router. You can now get an OpenFlow enabled device for less than a hundred dollars. The current release uses the OpenFlow specification version 0.8.9~2 and sits on-top of the standard OpenWrt distribution. It provides the option of controlling some or all of the interfaces of the wireless router.  To simplify configuration, the distribution includes an easy to use web-based OpenFlow configuration interface based on LuCI.


Version 0.9 rev1 released

September 4th, 2009, mikioh in OpenFlow Blog

OpenFlow 0.9 rev1 has been released as a 0.9 line maintenance release. The package is available on the downloads page. OpenFlow 0.9 with NetFPGA is supported in this release.