Despite the hype surrounding SDN, no one can afford to leap frog to the new technology. They must have a strategy to integrate the new with the old to reap the biggest benefits. Packet Design has taken its first step in helping customers do so. We’ve integrated Route Explorer with the OpenDaylight controller to automate SDN provisioning of RSVP-TE tunnels. For network engineers, this means eliminating the manual process of creating tunnels. They can simply plan it in Route Explorer and have the OpenDaylight controller automatically provision it. Some of our early adopter customers – especially service providers – are very happy about this.
OpenDaylight only supports TE tunnels today, but our integration is an example of how we can support SDN in hybrid environments. Our analytics technology is unique because it allows us to build SDN conforming applications in the presence of non-conforming applications. You don’t have to do a forklift hardware upgrade in the network or build a brand new network architecture where the controller provisions everything. We are able to demonstrate provisioning of RSVP-TE tunnels in hybrid environments where some traffic may be flowing inside RSVP-TE tunnels and some may not be. We do not assume that every application will make a reservation request to the controller, so instead of reservation levels, we apply a rich set of analytics to compute paths, current and expected traffic levels, and end-to-end delays.
For more information on this, read our press release. If you are attending Cisco Live next week and would like to see a demo of our integration in action, stop by booth #310.
As for our next steps with SDN, as we’ve mentioned on this blog before, we believe that the SDN architecture should be augmented with a Network Access Broker (NAB) that checks whether the required resources are available to satisfy application requests. The NAB will understand the current topology and how it is changing, what commitments have been made in the WAN, and what workloads are anticipated based on historical profiles, so that when new requests come in via the SDN controller they can be accepted or denied. In addition, the NAB will offer alternative network configurations to the SDN controller if the application request would have a negative effect on service delivery.