Demo: OpenFlow enabled network card

| Mar 21, 2013

    Contributed by Eli Karpilovski, Senior Manager, Cloud @ Mellanox (

    I’m excited to showcase the results of a demo we put together leveraging the Floodlight controller and our new OpenFlow-enabled NIC. This particular demo enables extraction of network information to detect and protect against security threats in real-time for a more resilient and cost-effective mobile network.

    The demo uses the following technologies:

    Click to Enlarge

    • Radware Application Delivery and Attack Mitigation Security
    • Mellanox 10G and 40G embedded virtual switch (eSwitch) NIC
    • Floodlight SDN controller

    Combining these technologies illustrates an innovative ability to extract network and application information that can be translated and leveraged to a scalable solution for detection of various security threats, in real-time.

    With these low-latency NICs, customers can deploy an embedded virtual switch (eSwitch) to run VM traffic with bare-metal performance, provide hardened security and QoS, all managed with Floodlight OpenFlow APIs. The hardware-based security and isolation features in the Mellanox cards can enable wider adoption of multi-tenant clouds while maintaining SLAs. And, utilizing SR-IOV to bypass the Hypervisor achieves higher VM utilization per node when virtualizing network functions in private cloud deployments.


    Nah Mate, That’s Ain’t A Controller… THIS is a Controller

    | Jan 31, 2013

      Contributed by Rob Sherwood – CTO of Controller Technologies at Big Switch Networks.

      I’m hearing more and more about SDN “controllers” these days.

      Tech Execs at big networking companies are talking about delivering controllers in coming years. And I still see interesting projects emerging from academic institutions. Even Lua students can now experiment with OpenFlow controllers. In general, this is a good thing and I’m happy to see it.

      It somewhat reminds me of the 
early days of operating systems — it seems everyone is writing one, and
 there is a lot of difference between them.  I think of it like the
 difference between the rather trivial operating system that a computer 
science undergrad writes in her senior-level operating systems class vs. a 
fully functioning commercially supported operating system like Mac OSX or 
even a popular, well-tested open source operating system like Linux. Is
 “while(true){do()};” an operating system?

 There are fundamental differences between the capabilities, features, and
 even architecture that will separate the toy projects from the controllers built for production deployment- the useful special-purpose controllers from the 

      I expect there to be many experimental controllers, especially those that cater to a particular programming language or environment. As software developers get their heads around the idea of programming network applications, an existing frame of reference provides an important bridge whenever programmers are learning new technology. Over the long term, some winners will emerge.

      Read more…

      SDN Use Case: Multipath TCP at Caltech and CERN

      | Dec 3, 2012

        “Everything is getting better with Moore’s Law, but some things are getting better faster than others.”

        – Kenneth Church, “The Mobility Gap”

        Almost everyone has heard of Moore’s law, which states that CPU processing power goes up by about 100x per decade.  Fewer of us have heard of Kryder’s Law, ie the “Moore’s Law of storage” – it says that we can expect a 1000x increase in disk capacity per decade.  And even fewer have heard of Nielsen’s Law for networking – which only claims a 256x increase of bandwidth capacity in the workplace over the same period.

        In short: bandwidth rates aren’t keeping up – in a large part due to limitations of the speed of light. It is this gap in improvement in storage and bandwidth density that Mr Church coined the “mobility gap”. How big is the gap?  Roughly 4X – 18x over each decade. Which doesn’t seem that bad until you also consider the “digital universe” problem which says that AMOUNT of global data is 44x time what is was in 2009 by 2020.

        Researchers are particularly hard-hit by this growing problem. As instruments get more and more sophisticated, the amount of raw data that is capture is increasing all the time. At the same time, more and more scientists around the world want to get their hands on it for their own research, meaning that huge amounts of raw data are being shipped around the world. Read more…

        Open Source and Floodlight: The Biggest Opportunity for SDN

        | Nov 18, 2012

          In a recent post on SDNCentral titled “Open Source: The Biggest Risk to SDN”, the author attempts to define the various types of open source business models, including how value is created for users and partners within an open source ecosystem.  He described some risks facing partners and users when they are considering adopting code from “single-vendor” projects, specifically calling out the Floodlight and Indigo projects, which are supported in large part by Big Switch. And then he posits a scenario wherein Big Switch is acquired by  a competitor with a poor open source track record (think: golden gate bridge, and switches and routers).

          The author takes the position that single-vendor poses a risk to SDN adoption as a whole by concluding that users and partners should be very wary of using Floodlight & Indigo code because it is very likely that Cisco may very well acquire Big Switch and thus close the project down.

          While I’m a reader of SDNCentral, I believe that the author misses the point entirely. Read more…

          Announcing Floodlight v0.90

          | Oct 29, 2012

            We are pleased to announce the release of Floodlight 0.90!  The 0.90  release consists of new controller REST APIs, new applications, bug fixes, a new test framework and contribution guideline, and a completely revamped documentation wiki.

            Click here to download the new version & complete Release Notes
            Ubuntu 12.10.  Floodlight is now available in the Ubuntu repository and can be installed via “apt-get install floodlight”
            New Applications
            • CircuitPusher, a python-based REST application, uses Floodlight’s REST API to setup a circuit between two IP hosts.  Includes new REST APIs.
            • Firewall, a java module application, provides controller-based stateless ACL support.
            • Integration Test Framework & Suite. Big Switch is open sourcing a test framework called “Floodlight-Test” to allow developers to easily develop and run integration tests. From release 0.90 and on, all developer contributions are required to have accompanied unit tests, integration tests, and documentation.
            • Revamped Documentation. A new docs site with a new structure for more efficient access to user and developer oriented information. New tutorials/guides are provided to assist in every stage of the usage and development process.  Specific instructions are also given in the wiki to describe a contribution process and a jira-based feature/bug tracking system.



            Preview of Indigo v2.0 and LOXI

            | Oct 2, 2012

              The Big Switch team has been working overtime to develop a new version of the popular Indigo project. Indigo is an OpenFlow firmware agent for physical switches, and info on the current version can be found on

              In version 2, we extend the framework to make it easy to support new versions of OpenFlow, as well as:

              • a HAL abstraction layer to make it easy to integrate with the forwarding and port management interfaces of physical- or virtual- switches
              • a configuration abstraction layer to support running OpenFlow in a “hybrid” mode on your switch
              • LOXI – a marshalling/un-marshalling engine that generates OpenFlow libraries in multiple languages. Currently it generates C, but Java and Python are coming soon.

              Indigo 2 will be officially released into open source later this year under the Apache version 2.0 license.  Until then, we are working hard to shore up documentation and update the web site. If you wish to see the code sooner than that (like now), please send your github ID to and we’ll provide you with early access.

              Want to learn more?  Following these links to download a recent deep-dive performed by Dan Talayco and Rob Sherwood over the web.

              Webinar Slides

              Webinar Video + Audio

              To stay up to date on the launch, be sure to subscribe to the indigo-announce and indigo-dev mailing lists by following these links: