Analysis of Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) OpenFlow Controller Implementation

Report No. ARL-TR-7020
Authors: Curtis Tade; Venkat Dasari; Vinod K. Mishra
Date/Pages: August 2014; 18 pages
Abstract: The benefits of Software-Defined Networking (SDN), when fully realized, offer many improvements over the current rigid and complex networking paradigm. By virtue of separating the control plane from the forwarding devices and handing its control over to a centralized external device, SDN removes many obstacles to networking innovation and research. OpenFlow protocol is a key enabler of SDN and provides a centralized control channel for effective state management. Simplified and centralized state management using SDN is highly desirable for rapid and secure network deployment in the battlefield. As the open-source community continues to progress with more stable software, the vendor support and implementation are leading the way in network innovation. Cisco has recently joined the list of SDN vendor supporters with the debut of its Open Network Environment (ONE) controller in 2013. Cisco ONE is built to OpenFlow 1.0 specifications and is said to be fully compliant with standard OpenFlow. In addition to the standard OpenFlow implementation, Cisco has also introduced a control plane in their switches as backup for the situation in which the external controller becomes unavailable. The U.S. Army Research Laboratory has obtained a privileged copy of the Cisco ONE controller from Cisco. As part of a summer project, the Cisco ONE controller has been analyzed and compared with the standard OpenFlow Floodlight controller for features and functionalities like handshake, connection setup, switch management, and security.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2014