SDN Technology: OpenFlow

OpenFlow-based Software Defined Networks

The OpenFlow protocol is an open standard that enables implementation of user-defined policies to control multi-vendor networks. First released in 2011, OpenFlow is driven by the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a leading proponent of software-defined networking (SDN) whose members include Deutsche Telecom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and Verizon.

OpenFlow is crucial to SDN because it delivers a consistent operational environment, helping abstract the differences between disparate network infrastructures and vendor implementations. It can be used in various network environments, including shared tenant cloud computing, virtual machine mobility, high-security networks and next generation IP-based mobile networks. The OpenFlow protocol governs three essential components of SDN: an OpenFlow physical switch, an OpenFlow virtual switch to manage virtual machines, and an OpenFlow controller to orchestrate all network pieces.

We collaborate closely with the Open vSwitch (OVS) and Ryu open-source projects

Our work at Pica8® centers on unlocking this SDN keystone for the networking data center. Pica8's current PicOS™ release, available on all Pica8 white box switches, supports OpenFlow 1.4 through OVS 2.0 integration to provide the necessary OpenFlow interface for external programmability. OVS runs as a process within PicOS, and PicOS is interoperable with any OpenFlow device, including leading OpenFlow controllers such as Ryu, Floodlight, and NOX. You can read more about our reference architectures here.

OpenFlow-based SDN Overview

Learn more about OpenFlow use cases and
Open vSwitch (OVS)