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What Makes an Open SDN Controller: Tech + Community

by lcaywood ‎01-20-2015 12:10 AM - edited ‎01-21-2015 03:29 PM (6,957 Views)



Back in September, we announced the Brocade Vyatta Controller, a commercial package of the OpenDaylight controller. We did an initial release in November and since that time have been working with our early adopters to understand and respond to the full range of their needs.


The single biggest challenge for any organization looking at SDN is simply getting started, non-disruptively. That means not having to spring for a lot of new equipment, but it also means supporting the organization through a ramp-up in skillsets and a shift in processes. So we’ve spent a fair amount of time developing ancillary education and support services in addition to making it easy to acquire the controller in the first place.


The Brocade Vyatta Controller v1.1.1 is now generally available for download. (And just to be clear, since we often get asked—yes, it’s just a software image. You can run it in any flavor of VM. No special hardware required.)


If you just want to dip your toe in the water, go ahead and grab the free download to manage up to 5 network nodes—a reasonable lab deployment. The free download is a full-featured controller with a one-year license, and it comes with 60 days of free TAC support to help you get up and running.


There are also a number of free training resources online: a formal web-based training course, as well as myriad resources on GitHub. My current favorite is a quick little video entitled “Install Brocade Vyatta Controller 1.1.1.” The Brocade Vyatta Controller GitHub pages are also a good place to ask questions of controller/app dev experts who are active on the site, and as you progress, to share your own experiences, scripts and more for the benefit of the broader community. If you’re more familiar or comfortable with the Brocade Community format, you can do many of the same things on the new DevNet page.


Beyond the free download, we break things down for operations and developers, since different groups need different things. For Operations, the base edition is licensed on a per-node basis for 1 or 3-year terms. It’s very inexpensive to start small and scale out, again, using existing hardware and software infrastructure. The licenses include TAC support as well. Other professional services, including 1- and 2-day in-person training sessions, customer-specific integration and custom app development, are also available.


The Developer Edition of the controller is also licensed for 1- or 3-year terms. Special developer-focused training sessions are available, as is consulting with our deep bench of OpenDaylight experts for design and code reviews and more. Again, GitHub will be an important resource for the developer community, and we welcome your involvement and contributions.


What should be clear here is that everything we've constructed stems from a community mindset, with two guiding principles:

  • We're ready and willing to get in the trenches with you to help build exactly what you need for your environment and business requirements.
  • We're interested in teaching you to fish, and hope that you'll share what you learn with the community to help improve the base technology and overall experience for everyone.