Network Access Broker Conceptual Demo

Talk is cheap when it comes to SDN, but at Packet Design we’ve created a working SDN analytics and orchestration prototype that will enable network engineers to effectively manage hybrid networks.

In this new demo, we outline how our Network Access Broker (NAB – subsequently renamed SDN Management and Orchestration Platform) – based on our core Route Explorer™ System – analyzes application requests for network resources, assesses their impact on services, and provisions them optimally using a combination of the following (if you’re already familiar with SDN and its management challenges, you can skip the intro and head straight to the demo at the 2:47 mark): 

    1. A layer 3 network topology model maintained in real time (IGP, BGP, and SDN controller-provided topologies like OpenFlow),
    2. A traffic demand matrix,
    3. Predicted network loads from historical baselines, and
    4. Analytics algorithms that compute efficient paths based on link utilizations/end-to-end delays, model new demand, and predict the impact of link/node failures on routing and traffic. Once the optimal paths have been computed, the NAB configures the network to provision them using the SDN controller (OpenDaylight in this example).


In the NAB demo, we use a network of four Cisco IOS XRv routers and the OpenDaylight SDN controller. The routers understand the path computation element protocol (PCEP) and register with the OpenDaylight controller. The NAB monitors the network in real time and communicates provisioning commands to the OpenDaylight controller.

The NAB provides a “heat map” (as well as other charts) for viewing bandwidth consumption from ingress to egress routers (we were recently awarded a patent related to this technology) and automatically computes and provisions tunnels from ingress to egress routers on the network. It’s provisioning made easy, as you just click on “compute tunnels,” come up with a name prefix, click finish, and you’re done. The NAB maintains a traffic matrix to compute the optimum tunnels for the network.

At times, ingress to egress router traffic volume may be too high to create a single tunnel. In these situations, the NAB uses its matrix of available link bandwidth to split the traffic across multiple tunnels. Again – the NAB calculates these tunnels automatically.   

When you’re happy with your choices, you can provision the tunnels you’ve computed with a single click and the commands are sent to the OpenDaylight controller. De-provisioning tunnels is just as simple. 

Of course, telling you about this is one thing, but you should see it for yourself in our video demo – and if you have further questions about NAB’s capabilities and how it might fit into your SDN plans, feel free to contact us.