OpenDaylight Lithium First Look

 

The OpenDaylight Project last month released the third version of its network controller software, named “Lithium.” OpenDaylight says that by using Lithium, “service providers and enterprises can transition to SDN with particular focus on broadening the programmability of intelligent networks.” We’ve been working on integrating our SDN Service Assurance platform with the OpenDaylight controller, so here are our impressions of Lithium so far.

Lithium adds native support for OpenStack Neutron, the cloud architecture toolkit’s networking module. Lithium also adds security enhancements, which include a new secure channel for communication between the controller and network devices, an audit and analysis tool for network traffic, and full support for Java 8, which has security improvements over Java 7.

BGPCEP

BGPCEP project handles the BGP and PCEP protocols. In Lithium, focus is more on the BGP protocol. The following updates are available:

BGP 

  • BGP Flowspec support
  • Graceful restart support
  • Segment Routing support

PCEP 

  • Secure transport support
  • Expansion of base PCEP stack with monitoring tools for PCEP
  • Newer draft implementation version

Deprecated 

  • Support for PCEP stateful version 02
  • Python PCC library

Out of the Box Experience 

After downloading the pre-built zip file, it is straightforward to run karaf container with the “bin/karaf” script. In Lithium, the feature list for BGP and PCEP are separated into two packages:
  • odl-bgpcep-pcep-all
  • odl-bgpcep-bgp-all
After installing the PCEP and RESTConf modules, IOS XRv routers are able to establish PCEP peering with the OpenDaylight controller in the lab setup. Packet Design’s SDN Service Assurance platform can now monitor, analyze and provision traffic engineered tunnels using OpenDaylight (we’ll be launching the platform as a product later this year).

Shortcomings 

BGPCEP lacks an API to bulk provision/un-provision PCE tunnels and a request has been made to the BGPCEP community for this. In Lithium, provisioning a large number of PCE tunnels back to back fails at times. A bug has been filed and the controller team is actively working on the issue.

Strengths 

OpenDaylight has a very robust and committed engineering community. They answer any question about the project and deployment promptly. The OpenDaylight meet-ups that are being organized in various locations are making it easy to source technical help and bounce ideas off fellow users.