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OpenFlow News

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.


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. (more…)

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