RouteFlow keeps flowing forward
Congratulations to the RouteFlow team, who announced another update to RouteFlow today! This follows the really big update from earlier this year, which was possibly the first multi-controller SDN application — it utilizes both NOX and POX.
RouteFlow is a project that cleverly leverages Linux-based IP routing solutions to configure an entire forwarding plane via OpenFlow. Said another way, it turns a bunch of OpenFlow switches into IP routers based on existing and proven software IP routing solutions. Unlike its predecessor, QuaggaFlow, it’s not tied to a particular routing engine; indeed, it’s entirely transparent to the routing engine (that’s the particularly clever part!). For more information, you might want to check out a YouTube video on the subject that was played at the last Open Networking Summit. You can also find VM images on their website, so you can fairly easily fire it up and take a look for yourself.
If you don’t have a particular interest in RouteFlow but are interested in developing on NOX and POX, you still might find the RouteFlow code worth a look. For example, questions come up on the mailing lists about gathering statistics fairly often, and RouteFlow contains concrete examples of this. Additionally, RouteFlow implements similar functionality in both NOX and POX, so if you’re thinking of switching from one to the other (or just trying to figure out which you should use), you might find it useful to compare and contrast. The code is all available on github.
According to the announcement sent out today by RouteFlow project member Allan Vidal (who, incidentally, is the one who wrote the POX portion of RouteFlow), the most important new feature is a way to map datapath ports to VM ports in a predefined way. Having struggled with similar issues, I’ll agree that this will definitely make some lives easier!