PANTHEON.tech is the 2nd largest OpenDaylight contributor for Q3/2018

In the last week of November 2018, Bitergia, a software development analytics company, published a report on the past and current status of the OpenDaylight project, which plays a significant role in PANTHEON.tech’s offerings and solutions.

PANTHEON.tech’s CTO Robert Varga, is leading the list of per-user-contributions to the source code of OpenDaylight, with over 980 commits to the source code in Q3 of 2018. This achievement further establishes PANTHEON.tech’s position as one of the largest contributors to the OpenDaylight project.

As for the list of companies which contribute to the source code of OpenDaylight, PANTHEON.tech is the 2nd largest contributor for Q3/2018, with 1034 commits. We were just 34 commits shy of the top contributor position, which belongs to Red Hat.

Due to ODL’s open-source nature, anyone can contribute to the project and improve it in the long-run. Any change that gets added to the source code is defined as a commit. These types of changes need an approval and can not be any type of automated activity – including bot-actions or merges. This means, that each single commit is a unique change, added to the source code.

PANTHEON.tech will continue its commitment to improving OpenDaylight and we are looking forward to being a part of the future of this project.

What is OpenDaylight?

ODL is a collaborative open source project aimed to speed up the adoption of SDN and create a solid foundation for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).

PANTHEON.tech’s nurture for ODL goes back when it was forming. In a sense, PANTHEON.tech has led the way is and how an SDN controller is and should be. This requires dedication, which was proven over the years with the extensive amount of contribution thanks to its expert developers.

Click here if you are interested in our solutions, which are based on, or integrate ODL’s framework.


You can contact us at https://pantheon.tech/

Explore our Pantheon GitHub.

Watch our YouTube Channel.

Frinx’s UniConfig is now powered by PANTHEON.tech’s lighty.io

lighty.io enables a major OpenDaylight distribution vendor to build and deploy their applications faster.

lighty.io is an SDK that provides components for the development of SDN controllers and applications based on well-established standards in the networking industry. It takes advantage of PANTHEON.tech’s extensive experience from the involvement in the OpenDaylight platform and simplifies and speeds up the development, integration, and delivery of SDN solutions. lighty.io also enables SDN programmers to use ODL services in a plain JavaSE environment.

FRINX UniConfig provides a common network API across physical and virtual devices from different vendors. It leverages an open source device library that offers connectivity to a multitude of networking devices and VNFs. FRINX UniConfig provides the ability to store intent and operational data from services and devices enables to commit intent to the network, syncs from the network so that the latest device state is reflected in the controller, compares intended state and operational state and provides device and network wide transactions. All changes are applied in a way that only those parts of the configuration that have changed are updated on the devices.

The UniConfig framework consists of distinct layers, where each layer provides a higher level of abstraction. APIs of the lowest layer provides the ability to send and receive unstructured data to and from devices. The unified layer provides translation capabilities to and from OpenConfig. The UniConfig layer provides access to the intent and the actual state of each device plus the capability to perform transactions and rollback of configurations. NETCONF devices can be configured via their native YANG models or via OpenConfig. Finally, FRINX UniConfig also provides service modules based on IETF YANG models for the configuration of L2VPNs, L3VPNs and enables the collection of LLDP topology information in heterogeneous networks.

The UniConfig Framework is based on open source projects like OpenDaylight and Honeycomb and publishes all translation units under the Apache v2 license. Customers and integration partners can freely contribute, modify and create additional device models, which work with the UniConfig Framework.

How did PANTHEON’s lighty.io  help?

PANTHEON.tech’s lighty.io helped to make UniConfig run and build faster.

Porting UniConfig to lighty.io required no changes to the application code and has brought many measurable improvements, such as UniConfig now starts faster, has a smaller memory footprint, and most importantly, significantly reduces build time.

lighty.io packs many features, some of which are:

  • Client libraries for communication with ODL back end for Java, Python, and Golang
  • Enhanced NETCONF device simulator
  • Microservice friendly structure
  • Easy to use utilities for YANG model data serialization and deserialization
  • Example applications for integration with vertx.iospring.io and others which enable your productivity
  • Inclusive of maintained examples and guides so the newcomers can start working immediately and be efficient

About FRINX  

FRINX offers solutions and services for open source network control and automation. FRINX is made up of passionate developers and industry professionals who want to change the way networking software is created, deployed and operated. FRINX offers network automation products and distributions of OpenDaylight and FD.io in conjunction with support services and is proud to count service providers and enterprise companies from the Fortune Global 500 list among its customers.

About PANTHEON.tech 

PANTHEON.tech is a software research & development company focused on network technologies and prototype software. Yet, we do not perceive networks as endless cables behind switches and routers: for us; it is all software-defined. Clean and neat. Able to dynamically expand and adapt according to the customer’s needs.

We thrive in a world of network functions virtualization and arising need for orchestration. Focusing on SDN, NFV, Automotive and Smart Cities. Experts in OpenDaylight, FD.IO VPP, PNDA, Sysrepo, Honeycomb, Ligato and much more.

 

The SDN SDK; lighty.io core joins open-source world

PANTHEON.tech, the proven supporter of open-source software and its communities, and leader in Software Defined Networking (SDN) and the OpenDaylight (ODL) platform, decided to open-source the core components of the current go-to SDN controller development kit: lighty.io.

Last Open Networking Summit, USA witnessed the announcement of lighty.io. This ONS will be the place where all OpenDaylight users will remember.

Today, PANTHEON.tech continues to push forward the open-source community projects and its commercial applications developed on open-source software, especially the lighty.io core.

lighty.io journey started when we realized the way to move the upstream project to the direction we envisioned was to provide a solution rather than talk about it. Therefore we’ve focused on a solution of the biggest pain point of current ODL, and turned it into the idea-bearer of the whole product. We’ve taken the biggest obstacle – Apache Karaf, out of the ODL developers lives, and hence improving their efficiency tremendously.

On the other hand the lighty.io commercial product is available for purchase is developed using the same lighty.io core which gets open-sourced today. We are tirelessly adding new features with the demand and cooperation with our customers. Such as the lighty.io Network Topology Visualisation Component, Go/Java/Python RESTCONF clients, improved RESTCONF notifications with HTTP 2.0 support, improved southbound NETCONF plugin with the implemented support of YANG actions, NETCONF simulator to name a few.

Our vision from the start was to enhance the commercial version of lighty.io with bleeding edge features and improvements that are not yet in open-source ODL. This will leverage lighty.io users capability to speed up their development and deployment. Today lighty.io users will get the chance to experience these changes, instead of waiting until such improvements appear in the upstream or developing themselves.

PANTHEON.tech released lighty.io core components under Eclipse Public License v1.0 as a continuous support to the community.

We believe this generous act will result in spinning up new projects based on OpenDaylight components making them faster and cheaper to develop and will give you a competitive edge in today’s fast evolving world of micro service and cloud-oriented deployments.

We encourage all OpenDaylight users, Data Center managers, Telco and Service Provider DevOps to give lighty.io a try with their existing applications. It will be amaze you.

Today, PANTHEON.tech will officially release the lighty.io core as free and open-source software at the event. Please join us in the Open Networking Summit Europe/Amsterdam at booth #14.

Follow us on YouTubeGitHub.

There is more to come, as we will reveal how lighty.io cuts down the software development costs and time, helping our customers to consume complex data center management features with ease.

Stay tuned and watch this space for the other great announcements around lighy.io which will take space in the event. Be there to witness the amazing.

by PANTHEON.tech

lighty.io runs 5G on xRAN

In April 2018, the xRAN forum released ‘Open Fronthaul Interface Specification’. The first specification made publicly available from xRAN since its launch in October 2016. The released specification has allowed a wide range of vendors to develop innovative, best-of-breed remote radio unit/head (RRU/RRH) for a wide range of deployment scenarios, which can be easily integrated with virtualized infrastructure & management systems using standardized data models.

This is where PANTHEON.tech came to the scene and became among the first companies to introduce full stack 5G compliant solution with this specification.

Just a few days spent coding and utilizing the readily available lighty.io components, we created a Radio Unit (RU) simulator and an SDN controller to manage a group of Radio Units.

Now, let us inspect the architecture and elaborate on some important details.

We have used lighty.io, specifically the generic NETCONF simulator, to set up an xRAN Radio Unit (RU) simulator. xRAN specifies YANG models for 5G Radio Units. lighty.io NETCONF device library is used as a base which made it easy to add custom behavior and 5G RU is ready to stream data to a 5G controller.

The code in the controller pushes the data collected from RUs into Elasticsearch for further analysis. RU device emits the notifications of simulated Antenna Line Devices connected to RU containing:

  • Measured Rx and Tx input power in mW
  • Tx Bias Current in mA (Internally measured)
  • Transceiver supply voltage in mV (Internally measured)
  • Optional laser temperature in degrees Celsius. (Internally measured)

*We used device xRAN-performance-management model for this purpose.

lighty.io as a 5G controller

With lighty.io we created an OpenDaylight based SDN controller that can connect to RU simulators using NETCONF. Once RU device is connected, telemetry data is pushed via NETCONF notifications to the controller, and then directly into Elasticsearch.
Usually, log stash is required to upload data into Elasticsearch. In this case, it is the 5G controller that is pushing device data directly to Elasticsearch using time series indexing.
On Radio Unit device connect event, monitoring process automatically starts. RPC-ald-communication is called on RU device collecting statistics for:

  • The Number of frames with incorrect CRC (FCS) received from ALD – running counter
  • The Number of frames without stop flag received from ALD – running counter
  • The number of octets received from HDLC bus – running counter

*We used xran-ald.yang model for this purpose.
The lighty.io 5G controller is also listening to notifications from the RU device mentioned above.

Elasticsearch and Kibana

Data collected by the lighty.io 5G controller via RPC calls and notifications are pushed directly into Elasticsearch indices. Once indexed, Elasticsearch provides a wide variety of queries upon stored data.
Typically, we can display several faulty frames received from “Antenna Line Devices” over time, or analyze operational parameters of Radio Unit devices like receiving and transmitting input power.
Such data are precious for Radio Unit setup, so the control plane feedback loop is possible.

By adding Elasticsearch into the loop, data analytics or the feedback loop became ready to perform complex tasks. Such as: Faulty frame statistics from the “Antenna Line Devices” or the  Radio Unit operational setup

How do we see the future of xRAN with lighty.io?

The benefit of this solution is a full stack xRAN test. YANG models and its specifications are obviously not enough considering the size of the project. With lighty.io 5G xRAN, we invite the Radio Unit device vendors and 5G network providers to cooperate and build upon this solution. Having the Radio Unit simulators available and ready allows for quick development cycle without being blocked by the RU vendor’s bugs.

lighty.io has been used as a 5G rapid application development platform which enables quick xRAN Radio Unit monitoring system setup.
We can easily obtain xRAN Radio Unit certification against ‘lighty.io 5G controller’ and provide RU simulations for the management plane.

Visit lighty.io page, and check out our GitHub for more details.

by PANTHEON.tech

The SDN SDK; lighty.io core news

PANTHEON.tech, the proven supporter of open-source software and its communities, and the leader in Software Defined Networking (SDN) and the OpenDaylight (ODL) platform had announced the development of lighty.io in the last Open Networking Summit, USA.

Since then PANTHEON.tech’s initiative had received a great positive feedback. Such as but not limited to: how the lighty.io eased their SDN controller development pain and shorten the development time, best of all how the removal of the Apache Karaf out of the process enabled them to shorten product to market time, how the improved RESTCONF NB interface helped them spend time on their applications instead of solving technical debts, and how they can now implement GUI for their topology management in days instead of months.

Today, PANTHEON.tech continues to push forward the open-source community projects and its commercial applications developed on open-source software, especially the lighty.io core.

PANTHEON.tech will be again attending another summit on 25-27 September.

Find PANTHEON.tech the Silver sponsor of the Open Networking Summit Europe at the booth #14.

Stay tuned and watch this space for the other great announcements around lighty.io which will take space in the event. Be there to witness the amazing.

PANTHEON.tech has released lighty.io 9.0 and it is fully compatible with OpenDaylight Fluorine

PANTHEON.tech is proud to announce the release of lighty.io 9.0 following the official  OpenDaylight Fluorine release.

lighty.io has been adapted to reflect the latest upstream changes and made fully compatible with.

Check out our latest lighty.io release on our GitHub account.

Here are some noteworthy improvements what OpenDaylight Fluorine established:

  •  Yangtools cleanup and refactoring.
  •  Streamlined generated Yang module APIs.
  •  Improved Java bindings.
  •  NETCONF and RESTCONF improvements.

The biggest ODL improvement is the new set of core services provided by the MD-SAL project. Older services provided previously by the controller project have been marked as @Deprecated and will be removed in future ODL/lighty.io releases.

lighty.io provides new MD-SAL services as well as @Deprecated controller implementations.

Please see lighty.io Services for reference.

If your application uses any of the @Deprecated marked services, you should consider refactoring. Contact us for any troubleshooting requirements.

In addition to the latest ODL improvements, lighty.io has more to offer:

  • Up-to-date web server Jetty 9.4.11.v20180605 with better HTTP2 support.
  • RESTCONF implementations are now in compliance with HTTP2.
  • YANG actions implementation as it was defined in RFC 7650.
  • gNMI / OpenConfig south-bound plugin.
  • Minor changes leading the controller to startup faster
  • Improved Javadoc for main APIs.
  • The easier pathway towards JDK 11 adoption.
  • Spring.io dependency injection integration.
  • And many more, please check them out on the lighty.io web.

The list of the @Deprecated and added new services is below. 

List of the new MD-SAL services:  List of the @Deprecated services:
org.opendaylight.mdsal.binding.api.DataBroker

org.opendaylight.mdsal.binding.api.MountPointService

org.opendaylight.mdsal.binding.api.NotificationPublishService

org.opendaylight.mdsal.binding.api.NotificationService

org.opendaylight.mdsal.binding.api.RpcProviderService

org.opendaylight.mdsal.binding.dom.codec.api.BindingCodecTreeFactory

org.opendaylight.mdsal.binding.dom.codec.api.BindingNormalizedNodeSerializer

org.opendaylight.mdsal.dom.api.DOMDataBroker

org.opendaylight.mdsal.dom.api.DOMDataTreeService

org.opendaylight.mdsal.dom.api.DOMDataTreeShardingService

org.opendaylight.mdsal.dom.api.DOMMountPointService

org.opendaylight.mdsal.dom.api.DOMNotificationPublishService

org.opendaylight.mdsal.dom.api.DOMNotificationService

org.opendaylight.mdsal.dom.api.DOMRpcProviderService

org.opendaylight.mdsal.dom.api.DOMRpcService

org.opendaylight.mdsal.dom.api.DOMSchemaService

org.opendaylight.mdsal.dom.api.DOMYangTextSourceProvider

org.opendaylight.mdsal.dom.spi.DOMNotificationSubscriptionListenerRegistry

org.opendaylight.controller.sal.binding.api.NotificationProviderService

org.opendaylight.controller.sal.binding.api.RpcProviderRegistry

org.opendaylight.controller.md.sal.dom.spi.DOMNotificationSubscriptionListenerRegistry

org.opendaylight.controller.md.sal.dom.api.DOMMountPointService

org.opendaylight.controller.md.sal.dom.api.DOMNotificationPublishService

org.opendaylight.controller.md.sal.dom.api.DOMNotificationService

org.opendaylight.controller.md.sal.dom.api.DOMDataBroker

org.opendaylight.controller.md.sal.dom.api.DOMRpcService

org.opendaylight.controller.md.sal.dom.api.DOMRpcProviderService

org.opendaylight.controller.md.sal.binding.api.MountPointService

org.opendaylight.controller.md.sal.binding.api.NotificationService

org.opendaylight.controller.md.sal.binding.api.DataBroker

org.opendaylight.controller.md.sal.binding.api.NotificationPublishService

 lighty.io by PANTHEON.tech

PANTHEONtech at Open Networking Summit (ONS) 2018

PANTHEONtech had a unique opportunity to participate on Open Networking Summit (ONS) 2018 this year. Central topic of the ONS 2018 was data center solutions: ONAP and Kubernetes based systems. Also few new projects under the wings of Linux Foundation were introduced. For example “Acumos AI“, “Arkaino Edge stack” and DANOS (Disaggregated Network Operating System project) which is the operating system for white-box switches.

 

PANTHEONtech has traditionally participated on the OpenDaylight (ODL) as well as the fd.io development and we launched our lighty.io product in the ONS. lighty.io changes conventional OpenDaylight attitude on how to build SDN controller applications, making them smaller, nimble and micro-service ready.

lighty.io caught attention of the ODL community members as well as customers struggling with real-life ODL deployments. This solution helps to consume and deploy ODL services faster with lower cost of ownership. Faster builds, quick test runs and smaller distribution sizes are right way to proceed. lighty.io brings also added value into the ONAP eco-system providing runtime for ONAP’s SDN-C link to sdn-c blog/article. We are continuously updating the community with lighty.io use-case examples and also lighty.io video use-cases

 

One of the projects, in which we participate in the community, is The Fast Data Project (FD.io). For the FD.io community, we presented Ligato; Honeycomb’s younger brother. It is an ’easy to learn and easy to use’ integration platform. We love to see, that the FD.io community is growing larger, not only in the number of contributors, but in the number of projects and use-cases as well. We were also pleased to accept an invitation to an introduction of a new FD.io project “Dual Modes, Multi-Protocols, Multi-Instances” (DMM), where we discussed use-cases and integration paths from the current networking stack. FD.io community has a potential of further growth, especially as we see the shift of the networking industry from a closed-sourced hardware-based network functions to an open-source software-based solutions.

ONS 2018 was an exciting opportunity for us. It was a forum where we could easily share our knowledge and provide a much needed innovation. Let’s see how artificial intelligence and machine learning will change the landscape of networking in upcoming years. See you on next ONS event!

 

The SDN SDK – lighty.io

Pantheon Technologies has recently developed the SDN SDK – lighty.io.

We have designed lighty.io to empower you to develop Software Defined Networking (SDN) solutions in JAVA, Python and Go. lighty.io aims to make ODL components
available outside Karaf to gain speed, flexibility and scalability for developers and users. It also contains new southbound plugins, which are not available in upstream ODL, enhanced modules of ODL and various developer tools.

Initial tests revealed that lighty.io has the capacity to outperform standard ODL in many ways. To top it all, one can still switch between “vanilla” ODL distribution/build and lighty.io build seamlessly.

Some of the great highlights of lighty.io are:

  • lighty.io works on JavaSE instead of Karaf OSGi container server, which enables SDN developers to use ODL services in JavaSE frameworks (latest versions of Spring.io, google Guice, Vertx, etc.)
  •  lighty.io is a great platform for building SDN micro service controller applications thanks to its low memory requirements and distribution size with blazing-fast start-up time.
  •  lighty.io uses ODL’s mature components and features like YANG tools, MD-SAL, NETCONF, and clustering, and adds Pantheon’s value to the mix.
  • lighty.io controller applications implement their own initialization sequences in order to run the same core services available in ODL, but in a speedy runtime.
  • lighty.io contains network topology visualization component to enable you to develop responsive and scalable front-end network visualizations effortlessly, which can be accessed by any device with a web browser.

We are continuously enhancing lighty.io package by adding exciting features so our valued customers can use and get support for immediately. We have done the hard work so you do not have to re-invent the wheel. Use lighty.io, today.
For more information, please visit lighty.io, by Pantheon Technologies

Moscow business district under construction

Building Infrastructure Systems 2017 Conference, Moscow

At the end of October 2017, I had a chance to visit one of the world’s largest cities – beautiful Moscow, capital of Russia, where the BIS 2017 event took place. BIS – Building Infrastructure Systems – focused at data centers, networks and technologies connected to these topics. The venue was the impressive Azimut Olympic hotel, which pleasantly surprised everyone by being a fully smoking-free zone with lots of photos on the walls picturing healthy ways of life.

Moscow business district under construction

The event was very well organized and the timing precise; everything was on time and easy to find. The event was attended by nearly 1000 delegates, among them many representatives of businesses and government bodies, highly skilled technical specialists and CxOs managing large companies. Since the very beginning I literally had no time to sit down for a while, such was the number of visitors to our booth. Most of them showed great interest in our company’s scope of work, the level of expertise we provide, projects we participated at; and there were hundreds of other questions they wanted to ask 🙂

BIS 2017 Moscow servers

At 11:20 of the event day, we had a presentation slot allocated to Pantheon Technologies. The room was full of people, showing great interest in the SDN, NFV and IoT technologies. I have had 15 minutes to discuss the latest trends in SDN and NFV and to introduce our company to the audience. Unfortunately, there was almost no time left for the Q&A part, so I invited everyone to our booth. And people came. Right after the presentation, and until the very end of the day, people kept coming and asking questions, asking for references, contacts. That was truly amazing!

BIS 2017, Moscow, Pantheon Technologies brochures

I’ve spoken to people from the Government of Moscow, from financial bodies, telecom and development companies. There were several representatives from largest Russian system integration companies who were interested in cooperation.

At the same time, it was inspiring to listen to their practical “field” experience and their understanding of the market. The overall impression I had is that the SDN/NFV technologies are being actively researched and tested in Russia recently, although significant ROI is still a rare case here. We need more work and time until that point is reached.

BIS 2017, Moscow, robot

My final impression was that we came to show Pantheon Technologies to Russia just in the right time. There are many interesting projects out there where our long-term expertise in the field of networking software development may prove useful.

 

Denis Rasulev

ONUG 2017 stage

ONUG Fall 2017

Open Networking User Group, New York, USA, October 17 – 18, 2017

ONUG 2017 stage

ONUG belongs to the group of conferences rather smaller in size, but surely not in importance. This year it took place in New York. The Big Apple is a truly interesting place and so was the conference. This event was a combination of trade show and a panel discussion. Pantheon Technologies did not actively participate in the trade show part this time, as our focus was more on potential business hunting.

ONUG 2017 crowd

ONUG is a 2-day event fully packed with big names on stage, as part of panel discussions, and a good selection of vendors, community leaders, service and solution providers.

The conference includes keynotes from IT business enterprise leaders as they address their open software-defined cloud-based infrastructure journeys, updates from the Working Group Initiative members, hands-on tutorials and interactive labs, real world use cases, proof of concept demonstrations and a vendor technology showcase.

ONUG 2017 website screenshot - recap

The goal of all ONUG events and initiatives is to bring together the full IT community, to allow IT business leaders to learn from peers, make informed open infrastructure deployment decisions, and to open up the dialogue between the vendor and user communities in order to collectively drive open infrastructure.

ONUG 2017 Pantheon brochures

For Pantheon Technologies this means a good opportunity to understand current networking needs of service providers, enterprises and vendors. This helps us to improve promoting Pantheon even better in the field of our expertise, in customized software development. ONUG clearly showed that service providers are heading more and more towards SD-WAN solutions. We have discussed our expertise in SDN and NFV with almost all of the ONUG participants and have found several potential partners to explore this exciting business with. Software Defined Networking is not only a buzzword anymore, it’s been well established and the market is very competitive, especially the US territory. That is why we at Pantheon Technologies need to be on top of it.

Peter Takáč

Windmills in the Netherlands - SDN NFV cover photo

SDN NFV World Congress: Intent-based Networking Still not in Sight

This year, our colleagues from Pantheon Technologies visited quite a couple of tech events around the globe. Among them, the SDN NFV World Congress, taking place in The Hague, was one we definitely couldn’t have missed. As one of the largest conferences focused at network transformation, it attracted more than 1700 visitors from companies all over the world. And it weren’t only large companies, many of whom are among our long-term clients; a fairly large number of start-ups joined in order to present their solutions.

 

Haag SDN NFV Forum animated GIF

Pantheon Technologies booth @ SDN NFV, Hague

It’s thrilling to follow the gradual transformation of proprietary solutions into those based on open-source. The reason is simple: at Pantheon Technologies, we contribute into several open-source projects, as we firmly believe that it’s the only way to ensure interoperability and standardization of individual building blocks of SDN and NFV solutions.

Yet, SDN, software-defined networking, is still under development. Until the present day, most use-cases have only been dealing with automation. The bottom line is that it’s still HDN, a human-defined network. It’s still people who express the desired state of the network, it’s not done by a software. Therefore, after solving the issues with automation and interoperability of the building blocks, a new adventure from the intent-based networking world might await: the current SDN solutions, offered by the market, will only provide the infrastructure to be used to fulfill the network users’ intentions.

Stefan @ SDN NFV, Hague

During the week which we spent at the conference, we’ve had plenty of interesting discussions, both sales-oriented and technical. Now, we’re very much looking forward to further meetings and talks.

 

 

Miroslav Miklus, Martin Firak

Carbon Cluster / cloud picture

Quick Carbon Cluster Setup in Amazon Cloud

Have you ever needed to setup an SDN controller cluster? Did you do it manually? Did it not take too long?

No worries – since we’ve got you covered from now on, you can automate your setup using our CloudFormation 3-node cluster template with Pantheon Technologies’ Carbon SDN controller.

The recipe is quite straightforward. Use your Amazon account to subscribe to the Carbon product here (or look here to check out the instructions how to do it). Open the CloudFormation console. Start creating a new „stack.“ Continue with feeding the creation wizard with our template, which is available here. Fill the customization parameters – that goes something like this:

Carbon Cluster configuration

Some parameters will be pre-filled with default values. Other parameters must be filled manually. For instance, you have to be creative and name your stack. You’ll also need to select a virtual private cloud (VPC), which will be something like your own private playground in the Amazon cloud.

Don’t worry – every Amazon account which is not too old should have one by default. Just use the combobox and click “select.”

 

Carbon Cluster / cloud picture

The last thing is the SSH access key pair that is also used for the automatic cluster configuration. Due to the private key upload, I would recommend you to create a new key pair just for this purpose (look here).

Additionally, you can define basic machine parameters of your nodes by choosing the correct instance type. You can also enhance the security by reducing the reachability of certain ports.

After filling the parameters, you can leave the other wizard pages untouched and finish with the creation wizard. After some 11 minutes, the cluster will be up and running.

Now you can play with it as much as you wish. You can access its nodes using SSH (see the „outputs“ tab of your stack) or you can access the data model of the Toaster example using the RESTCONF and simulate cluster failovers. Last but not least, our marketing department wants us to mention that the Carbon SDN controller costs you nothing. It’s free, so that you can try it out and decide whether you like it or not.

 

Filip Gschwandtner

Senior Software Engineer

 

moscow business district

Ready to Discuss Automation, Data & Networks in Moscow?

Already on October 25, 2017, a very special event will be taking place in Moscow: CIS Event Group’s BIS 2017 / Around Networks, Around Automation, Industry 4.0.

If we had to pick one single event focused on modern engineering infrastructure where we could meet our friends, peers and clients from Russia and the neighboring countries, this would be the one.

moscow business district

Let us introduce ourselves to the Russia’s market: Pantheon Technologies is among the leaders in Network Function Virtualization with deep expertise in the Internet of Things, Software Defined Networking, OpenDaylight and several other fields, such as Sysrepo, Honeycomb and Ligato. As these technologies are gaining traction in Russia and starting to spread throughout the neighborhood, now the time has come for us to get more involved and offer our expertise where it is required most.

We are working towards developing the future of the internet. Are you ready to join?

 

Denis Rasulev

blog - Singapore Tech XLR8 Asia 600x373 px

Pantheon partners up with TechXLR8 Asia

We’ve already started establishing a tradition of Pantheon Technologies partnering with the best tech events around the globe. To keep up with it, we’ll be sponsoring the Network Virtualization & SDN Asia conference, which will be taking place this fall in Singapore as a part of TechXLR8 Asia. On board with partners such as Juniper Networks, Fujitsu and VMware, we’ll be joining as a silver sponsor.

 

Singapore Marina Bay Sands hotel

What does this mean in practice? Our colleagues will be able to showcase the Pantheon skills and know-how both as speakers and in the exhibition area.

As we were recently proven at TechXLR8 London, our portfolio is quite unique. The topics revolving around ODL, SysRepo, FD.io, Honeycomb and Vector Packet Processing have struck the cord. Not only that we’ve met lots of interesting people from telco, SDN and content delivery companies, but our business card supply wasn’t able to cover the demand!

Is there anything specific you’d like to hear us talk about?

See you in Singapore on October 3-4!

Martin Firak

OpenDaylight RPCs or What Could Possibly Go Wrong With Adding This One Cool Feature

OpenDaylight uses YANG as its Interface Definition Language. This is an architecture decision we have made way back in 2013 and it works reasonably well for the most part.

One of YANG concepts used rather heavily is the concept of an RPC. For YANG and its intended use in NETCONF’s client/server model it works perfectly fine, but trouble starts brewing when you borrow concepts and try to make them fit your use case.

OpenDaylight uses YANG RPCs to not only define its northbound model, but also model interactions between its individual plugins. It does this in an environment, which is a single process, but rather a cluster of nodes, each having a mesh of plugins, some activated some not.

From architecture’s view, which looks at things from an elevation of 10,000 feet, the problem of making RPCs work in this sort of environment is quite simple: all you need are registries and request routers. From implementation perspective, though, things can easily go wrong… implementations have bugs, quirks and limitations which are not immediately apparent. They just surface when you try and push the system closer to its architectural limits.

The Trouble with Names

RFC 6020 defines only the basic RPC concept and assumes there is a single implementation servicing any request for that RPC. This is okay as long as you are targeting singleton actions — like ‘ping IP’, ‘clear system log’ and similar. In a complex system, though, requests are typically associated with a particular resource — like ‘create a flow on this switch’. Since YANG did not give us this tool, we have decided to create an OpenDaylight extension to allow an RPC to be bound to a context. This gave rise to two unfortunate names: ‘Global RPCs‘ and ‘Routed RPCs‘, the first being normal RPCs and the second being bound to a context. Plus, a third name, ‘RPCs‘, to refer to either one of those concepts. Are you confused yet?

The initial implementation of these concepts was done back in 2013, when there was no clustering in sight, by a team who have spent days upon days discussing the difference. When clustering came into the implementation picture, in 2014, the implementation team attached their own meaning to the word ‘Routed’ and we ended up with an implementation, where Routed RPCs are routed between cluster nodes, but the default ones are not. That is the subject matter behind BUG-3128. It did not matter much as long as all cluster-enabled applications used Routed RPCs, but that changed with emergence of Cluster Singleton Service and its wide-spread adoption among plugins.

These days we have YANG 1.1, defined in RFC 7950, which has the same underlying concept with much less confusing names. ‘Global RPCs’ are ‘RPCs‘. ‘Routed RPCs’ are ‘actions‘. Since those terms make the conversation about semantics a reasonable affair, this is the last you hear about Global and Routed RPCs from me.

Fun with Concepts, Contexts and Contracts

In order to support both RPCs and actions, OpenDaylight’s MD-SAL infrastructure has to define a concept to identify them both. Since the two are utterly similar in what they do, DOMRpcIdentifier was born. It is used to identify either an action or an RPC. To do that is is an abstract class with two concrete, private final implementations: DOMRpcIdentifier$Global and DOMRpcIdentifier$Local. Why those names? I do not remember the details, but I could wager a guess about what I was thinking back then. At any rate, the two implementations differ only in their implementation of DOMRpcIdentifier.getContextReference(). DOMRpcIdentifier$Global’s is always empty and DOMRpcIdentifier$Local’s is always non-empty.

This is consistent with how RPCs (without a context reference) and actions (with a context reference) are invoked and it makes the API involved in the context of RPC/action invocation clean and simple. API contract. In the context of registering an RPC or action implementation, things are slightly less straightforward. It is a separate interface, with a rather terse Javadoc. In both cases there is a hint of ‘a conceptual dynamic router’, but not much in terms of details.

Unless you were very curious as to the details of the API contracts involved, after reading the documentation available, with some OpenDaylight tutorials under your belt, you would feel this is a dead-simple matter and just use the interfaces provided. Run a few test cases and everything works just fine. No trouble in sight.

About That Router Thing…

The Simultaneous Release name of OpenDaylight for the release currently in development is Carbon, meaning we have shipped 5 major releases, so this ‘dynamic router’ thing vaguely referenced actually exists somewhere and it does something to fulfill the API contracts imposed on it, otherwise the applications would not be able to work at all. The entry point into the implementation is DOMRpcRouter. Glancing over that, it contains some ugliness, but it gets the general outline of the two sides of the contract done.

Digging a bit deeper into the invocation path, you get into the fork at AbstractDOMRpcRoutingTableEntry.invokeRpc(). The RPC invocation path is rather straightforward, but the invocation path for actions is far from simple. Out of two code paths (actions and RPCs) we suddenly have 4, as an action can be invoked without a context reference as if it were an RPC and there is a brief mention of remote rpc connector registering action implementations with an empty context reference … wait … WHAT???!!!

Okay, we seem to have two implementations integrated based on implementation details, without that being supported by a single line in the API contract. The connector referenced is actually sal-remoterpc-connector and is something that is meaningful in clusters. To make some sense of this, we have to go back to 2013 again.

A Tale of Three Routers

From the get go, the MD-SAL architecture was split into two distinct worlds: Binding-Independent (BI, DOM) and Binding-Aware (BA, Binding). This split comes from two competing requirements: type-safety provided by Java for application developers who interact with specific data models and infrastructure services which are independent of data models. The former is supported by interfaces and classes generated from YANG models and generally feels like any code where you deal with DTOs. The latter is supported by an object model similar to XML DOM, where you deal with hierarchical ‘document’ trees and all you have to go by are QNames. For obvious reasons most developers interacting with OpenDaylight have never touched the BI world, even though it underpins pretty much every single feature available in the platform.

A very dated picture of how the system is organized can be found here. It is obvious that the two worlds need to seamlessly interoperate — for example RPCs invoked by one world must be able to be serviced by the other and the caller should be none the wiser. Since RPCs are the equivalent of a method call, this process needs to be as fast as possible, too. That lead to a design, where each world has its own Broker and the two brokers are connected. Invocations within the world would be handled by that world’s broker, foregoing any translation. A very old picture of how an inter-world call would look like can be seen in this diagram.

For RPCs this meant that there were two independent routing tables with re-exports being done from each of them. The idea of an RPC router was generalized in the (now long-forgotten) RpcRouter interface. Within a single node, the Binding and DOM routers would be interconnected. For clustered scenarios, a connector would be used to connect the DOM routers across all nodes. So an inter-node BA RPC request from node A to node B would go through: BA-A -> BI-A -> Connector-A -> Connector-B -> BI-B -> BA-B (and back again). Both the BI and connector speak the same language, hence can communicate without data translation.

The design was simple and effective, but has not quite survived the test of time, most notably the transition to dynamic loading of models in the Karaf container. Model loading impacts data translation services needed to cross the BA/BI barrier, leading to situations where an RPC implementation was available in BA world, but could not yet be exported to the BI world — leading to RPC routing loops, and in case of data store services missing data and deadlocks.

To solve these issues, we have decided to remove the BA/BI split from the implementation and turn the Binding-Aware world into an overlay on top of the Binding-Independent world. This means that all infrastructure services always go through BI, and the Binding RPC Broker was gradually taken behind the barn, there was a muffled sound in 2015, and these days we only have two routers, one hiding behind a connector name.

Blueprint for a New Feature

Probably the most significant pain point identified by new people coming to OpenDaylight is that the technology stack is a snowflake, providing few familiar components, with implementation and documentation being borderline hostile to newcomers. One of such pieces is the Configuration Subsystem (CSS). Driven by invalid YANG and magic XMLs, it is a model-driven service activation, dependency injection and configuration framework built on top of JMX. While it offers the ability to re-wire a running instance in a way which does not break anything half-way through reconfiguration, it is a major pain to get right.

It pre-dates MD-SAL (which offers nicer configuration change interactions) and is utterly slow (because the JMX implementation is horrible). It was also designed to safeguard against operator errors and this is quite contrary to what Karaf’s feature service provides — if you hit feature:uninstall, those services are going down without any safeties whatsoever.

To fix this particular sore spot, one of the decisions from the Beryllium design summit was to extend Blueprint with a few capabilities and start the long journey to OpenDaylight without CSS, where internal wiring would be done in Blueprint and user-visible configuration would be stored in MD-SAL configuration data store. The crash-course page is a very easy read.

You will note that there is support for injecting and publishing RPC implementations — which is a nice feature for developers. Rather than having to deal with registries, I can declare a dependency on an RPC service and have Blueprint activate me when it becomes available like this:

<odl:rpc-service id="fooRpcService" interface="org.opendaylight.app.FooRpcService"/>

I can also publish my bean as an implementation, just with a single declaration, like this:

<bean id="fooRpcService" class="org.opendaylight.app.FooRpcServiceImpl">
  <!-- constructor args -->
</bean>
<odl:rpc-implementation ref="fooRpcService"/>

This is beyond neat, this is awesome.

FooRpcService vs. DOMRpcIdentifier

We have already covered how Binding Aware layer sits on top of the Binding Independent one, but it is not a one-to-one mapping. This comes from the fact that Binding Independent layer is centered around what makes sense in YANG, whereas the Binding Aware layer is centered around what makes sense in Java, including various trade-offs and restrictions coming from them. One such difference is that RPCs do not have individual mappings, i.e. we do not generate an interface class for each RPC, but rather we generate a single interface for all RPC definitions in a particular YANG module. Hence for a model like

module foo {
    rpc first { input { ... } output { ... } }
    rpc second { input { ... } output { ... } }
}

we generate a single FooService interface

public interface FooService {
    Future<FirstOutput> first(FirstInput input);
    Future<FirstOutput> second(SecondInput input);
}

The reasoning behind this is that a particular module’s RPCs (in the broad sense, including actions) will always be implemented by a single OpenDaylight plugin and hence it makes sense to bundle them together.

An unfortunate side-effect of this is that in the Binding Aware layer, both RPCs and actions are packaged in the same interface and it is up to the intermediate layers to sort out the ambiguities. This problem is being addressed in Binding V2, where each action has its own interface, but we have to have a solution which works even in this weird setup.

Fix Some, Break Some

Considering these complexities and gaps in the API contract documentation department, it is not quite surprising that the fix for BUG-3128, while making RPCs work correctly across the cluster had the unfortunate side-effect of breaking blueprint wiring in a downstream project (OpenFlow Plugin). In order to understand why that happened, we need to explore the interactions between DOMRpcRouter, blueprint and sal-remoterpc-connector.

When blueprint sees an <odl:rpc-service/> declaration, it will wire a dependency on the specified RPC (Binding Aware) interface being available in DOMRpcService (which is a facet of DOMRpcRouter). As soon as it sees a registration, it considers the dependency satisfied and proceeds to with the wiring of the component. This is true for LLDP Speaker, too. Note how it declares a dependency on an implementation of PacketProcessingService. Try as you may, you will not find a place where the corresponding <odl:rpc-implementation/> lives. The reason for this is quite simple: this service contains a single action and an implementation is registered when an OpenFlow switch connects to the OpenDaylight instance. So how is it possible this works?

Well, it does not. At least not the way it is intended to work.

What happens is that Blueprint starts listening for an implementation of PacketProcessingService becoming available with an empty context, just as with any old RPC. Except this is an action, so somebody has to register as a global provider for the action, i.e. as being capable to dynamically invoke it based on its content and not being tied to a particular context. That someone is sal-remoterpc-connector, in its current shape an form, which does precisely what is mentioned in that terse comment. It registers itself as a dynamic router for all actions and when a request comes in, it will try to find a remote node which has registered an implementation for the specified in the invocation. That means that unbeknownst to the Blueprint extension, all actions appear to have an implementation — even if there is no component actually providing it — and therefore LLDP Speaker will always activate, just as if that dependency declaration was not there.

The fix to address BUG-3128 performed a simple thing: rather than using blanket registrations, it only propagates registrations observed on other nodes — becoming really a connector rather than a dynamic router. Since no component provides the registration at startup time, blueprint will not see the LLDP Speaker dependency as satisfied, leading to a failure to activate. Unless an OpenFlow switch happens to connect while we are waiting — in that case, activation will go through.

So we are at a fork: we either have blueprint ‘working’, or we have RPC routing in cluster working. Getting both to work at the same time, and actually fixing LLDP Speaker to activate when appropriate, we will obviously have to perform some amount surgery on multiple components.

I will detail what changes are needed to close this little can of worms in my next post, so stay tuned 🙂

 

Róbert Varga

CTO Pantheon Technologies