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Comparison of Software Defined Networking (SDN) Controllers. Part 1: Introduction

Aptira Software Defined Networking SDN Controllers

The Software Defined Networking (SDN) technology landscape has evolved quickly over the last two years. Due to the developing nature of the SDN controller space, there is a plethora of software available for use.

The core concept of Software Defined Networking is separating the intelligence and control (e.g. routing) from forwarding elements (i.e. switches) and concentrating the control of the network management and operation in a logically centralised component – an SDN Controller. We’ve discussed this topic in more detail here.

Whilst many SDN controllers exist, we will compare the maturity of the most popular Open Source SDN controllers in industry and academia including: the Open Network Operating System (ONOS), OpenDayLight (ODL), OpenKilda, Ryu, Faucet and Tungsten Fabric. These SDN controllers will be rated against the following assessment criteria:

  • Architecture
  • Modularity and Extensibility
  • Scalability
    • Cluster Scalability
    • Architectural Scalability
  • Interfaces
    • Northbound API support
    • Southbound API support
  • Telemetry
  • Resilience and Fault Tolerance
  • Programming Language
  • Community

It is important to understand the motivations behind the available platforms. Each design has different use cases as usage depends not only on the capability matrix, but also on the cultural fit of the organisation and the project.

Our team of Solutionauts have used Software Defined Networking controllers for many different use cases, including: Traffic Engineering, Segment Routing, Integration and Automated Traffic Engineering.

Over the next few days, we will be comparing, rating and evaluating each of the most popular Open Source SDN controllers in use today. This comparison will be useful for organisations to help them select the right SDN controller for their platform which match their network design and requirements.

SDN Controller Comparisons:

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