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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Dana Gardner, Elizabeth White, Jnan Dash, Kevin Jackson, Peter Silva

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Open Networking Foundation Announces Availability of Educational Network Tapping Application

OPEN NETWORKING SUMMIT – The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the adoption of open Software-Defined Networking (SDN), today announced the availability of an open-source network tapping application at the Open Networking Summit. The new ONF SampleTap application was built on OpenFlow™ to serve as an educational resource for programmers. ONF will be demonstrating the SampleTap application at the Open Networking Summit, booth #609. The summit is taking place in Santa Clara, Calif. March 3 – 5, 2014.

Dedicated to the promotion and adoption of SDN through open standards development, ONF is committed to educating the market on the benefits of open SDN built on OpenFlow. To create this application, ONF enlisted the services of Wiretap Labs, a Silicon Valley-based consultancy specializing in custom development for cloud, security and SDN solutions. Wiretap Labs carefully documented their development of the ONF SampleTap and their experiences will be chronicled in a series of blog posts on the ONF blog beginning the third week of March 2014.

“In evaluating potential educational applications, we selected network tapping as it is broadly understood and easily deployable by network operators,” said Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation. “We see our app as an OpenFlow teaching tool that allows network operators to get experience with OpenFlow without changing how they actually do the switching and routing, since tapping doesn’t use OpenFlow for forwarding.”

The ONF SampleTap application is based on OpenFlow 1.0 and was written to run on an OpenDaylight controller. SampleTap has been tested and will be demonstrated with OpenFlow Conformance-Certified NEC switches. It was based on OpenFlow 1.0 because the recently announced OpenDaylight Hydrogen release, which supports OpenFlow 1.3, was not available at the time of the app’s writing. The ONF SampleTap’s portable design makes it straightforward to port to other network operating systems and support later versions of OpenFlow.

"We hear tremendous interest from users who want to test OpenFlow in their networks and this app is the perfect way for them to get started," said Neela Jacques, executive director of OpenDaylight. "We are excited that ONF used OpenDaylight's controller for this and look forward to hearing how these open source technologies are being implemented in software-defined networks."

Designed as a teaching tool for programmers looking to gain experience with OpenFlow and OpenDaylight, the application is not meant to serve as a commercial tapping product. A number of ONF member companies, including Big Switch Networks, Cisco, Gigamon, HP, IBM, Ixia (Net Optics), NEC, and NetScout, offer or plan to offer commercial-grade network tapping products. ONF recommends that organizations seeking a network tapping solution for commercial use contact an ONF member company to learn more about the rich feature sets that these commercial solutions provide.

The ONF SampleTap application, as well as a forthcoming installation guide, will reside in the ONF GitHub repository and will be available within 30 days. The app uses the Apache 2.0 open source license to extend the greatest educational use for this software. ONF has standardized on this license for any software that may be created by the organization.

About ONF

Launched in 2011 by Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, and Yahoo!, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is a growing nonprofit organization with more than 120 members whose mission is to accelerate the adoption of open SDN. ONF promotes open SDN and OpenFlow technologies and standards while fostering a vibrant market of products, services, applications, customers, and users. For further details visit the ONF website at: http://www.opennetworking.org.

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