Software defined networking holds the promise of unified management and control planes applied across many disparate network elements, consolidating northbound interfaces to lower OPEX and speeding the deployment of new services. To reach this goal, we start with disaggregation of the control and data planes, resulting in a control plane running in an SDN controller and the data plane on the physical (or virtual) network element.
Between the SDN controller and the network element, an open standard protocol is used to push service “flow” rules. One of the most popular protocols for communication between the SDN controller and the forwarding plane is OpenFlow, and Calix has implemented OpenFlow as a component of AXOS.
To complement the AXOS OpenFlow agent, Calix has written a service provisioning tenant application that runs on ONOS, a popular SDN controller. This centralized ONOS application provisions the VLANs that create the subscriber service on the AXOS system.
Here is a short video I created to demonstrate the use of OpenFlow within AXOS G.fast systems.
You can imagine that regardless of how large the network grows, a single SDN controller can configure all subscriber services in a standardized way, simplifying and automating operations across the entire network. And because AXOS is a software platform not fixed to a specific system, the AXOS OpenFlow agent can be used to support any physical layer (anyPHY.com) technology today and into the future. OpenFlow is just one part of the Software Defined Access architecture that is transforming access networks around the globe.