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Table of Contents

    OpenFlow Experimentation in ORBIT

    Sandbox 9 is a great option for OpenFlow/SDN experimentation.

    As shown in figure below, SB9 is built around an OpenFlow capable switch, a Pronto 3290, with 11 experimentation nodes connected to it. Seven of these nodes (node1-1 through node1-7) have NetFPGA 1G cards, two (node1-8 and node1-9) have NetFPGA 10G cards, while the other two are general purpose ORBIT nodes that could be used as controllers or monitors. The switch provides the 'DATA' backplane for SB9 with the 'eth0' interfaces on each node and the 4 data ports on each of the NetFPGAs connected to it at the specific ports shown in the figure below. The control interfaces on the nodes (i.e., 'eth1' ) are connected to an external control switch not accessible to the experimenter (primarily used for node imaging and node access from console).

    Figure 1: Overview of the SB9 setup.

    Switch OpenFlow Operation Modes

    The P-3290 can operate in 2 basic modes: as a L2 switching/L3 routing element using Pica8's PicOS protocol stack, or as a multi-layer open virtual switch (OVS) where the control path is open to experimentation. In addition, the U-Boot bootloader on the switch can load custom images via NFS/TFTP enabling other compatible switch OS solutions, such as the Indigo. For Openflow experimentation, this means the 3 possible options described below.

    1. Openflow in L2/L3 Mode

    As of PicOS 2.0, the switch can mix data traffic between the OpenFlow and L2/L3 networks. They call this enhancement “crossflow” mode. Individual ports can be designated either as legacy or crossflow port, where the control on the legacy ports is handled by PicOS L2/L3 stack. The control for crossflow ports can be left to one of local handling (by PicOS stack), by flow rules entered through CLI, or by establishing path to an OpenFlow controller.

    2. Openflow in OVS Mode

    3. Openflow through Network Boot (of custom image)

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