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Brocade SDN Controller 2.0: New Look and New Accessories

by lcaywood on ‎09-15-2015 09:00 AM (6,245 Views)

If you’ve been following what we at Brocade are doing with SDN, you know that we have a very strong affiliation with the OpenDaylight Project. All of our SDN engineering efforts are done within the Project, and our distribution is built directly from the Project, meaning that everything within our distribution is from OpenDaylight, with no proprietary extensions.


Since the original 1.0 release, based on Helium, we have done dot releases about every 6 weeks in order to incorporate ODL Service Releases and features which have been sufficiently matured to meet our testing requirements. Our 2.0 release is based on Lithium, and will follow a similar agile schedule of dot releases. 3.0 will be based on Beryllium.


The 2.0 release incorporates Lithium’s clustering enhancements for improved reliability and scalability. Lithium also formally deprecated the Application-Driven SAL and fully replaced it with the Model-Driven SAL. (A good description of the difference between the two Service Abstraction Layers can be found here.) This meant that the OVSDB southbound interface, which was based on the AD-SAL, needed to be rewritten. The teams also did significant enhancements on the northbound side on the OpenStack Neutron ML2 plug-in, which Brocade got certified with the Red Hat OpenStack Juno distribution on behalf of the OpenDaylight Project.


The new open-source stack for virtual networks now looks like this:




Speaking of looks, with this release we have created a new Brocade GUI, which provides both more flexibility and a much more intuitive interface for network operators. The GUI is technically separate from, but bundled with the controller. Our two new applications, Topology Manager and Flow Manager (below) both leverage the GUI.




Topology Manager is a free application that is bundled with the controller download. It provides an intuitive way of visualizing OpenFlows between controller-attached nodes. Flow Manager is a for-fee application that allows users to configure and manage flows with a few clicks on the relevant nodes. Pop-up screens within the app provide the desired details for each flow. These two apps join the Brocade Flow Optimizer app in the Brocade SDN portfolio.


For more information about the controller and new applications, visit the SDN Controller and Applications page on