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Open Networking Operating System (ONOS) in Software Defined Networks

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  • Last Updated : 25 Nov, 2021
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Open Networking Operating System – ONOS is an SNA controller for building next-generation network applications. Using Onos, we can have real-time control of the network and eliminate the need to have real switches to test the network protocol. ONOS can also function in the cloud therefore, it paves way for innovation and allows the users to create network applications without any costly setup. 

ONOS  is an open source for creating applications that use software-defined networks. ONOS is an operating system for maintaining network devices. Using ONOS we can control a diverse range of hardware devices in the software-defined networks. It is developed by Linux foundations. It is currently used by many big companies in the network industry.

ONOS Features :
ONOS is designed for its:

ONOS Features

ONOS Features

  • High Performance –
    It performs and fulfills the exact specifications of the network operators. All the releases of ONOS are targeted mainly for high performance. It supports millions of intent at an amazing response time of just 50msec.
  • Scalability –
    It can scale as high as we need by adding new instances. We can also have scalable gateway support in ONOS, thereby paving way for load balancing and high availability. A scalable gateway ensures high availability by allowing multiple redundant gateways to the system. It also allows dynamically adding or removal of gateway nodes and support for a gateway failure.
  • Resilience –
    ONOS provides the user with mission-critical operator networks. Using ONOS we can implement Resilient Controlled Software Defined Networks (ReCSDN). It can be deployed on the top of the ONOS to confirm the viability of the approach.
  • Legacy device support –
    With ONOS we can add or configure the traditional devices easily. We can add services with model-based dynamic configuration. Using ONOS we can easily connect SDN and legacy devices. It can adapt to any legacy device.
  • Next-generation device support –
    ONOS gives real-time control for native SDN data plane devices and can now be used with p4 support. ONOS also develops an open-source stack to provide users with network configuration and control.

ONOS functions :

  • To allow openness and eliminate the need of users to know about the proprietorship of hardware devices.
  • The users need not follow the protocols and complex rules of proprietary devices.
  • Allows revolution and innovation in the development of hardware and software devices.
  • ONOS has high availability because of clustering.
  • Its performance is also very good and is widely used by network engineers nowadays.
  • It has CLI for debugging the issues arising.
  • It supports both proactive and reactive flow setup

ONOS architecture :

ONOS architecture

ONOS architecture

  • Distributed Core –
    It enables the devices to run on a cluster. So it is always available and scalable to our needs. The centralized layer of the ONOS is the ONOS core. It allows for the physical separation of data and control functions.
  • Northbound abstractions/APIs –
    It includes various intents or templates that allow users to request a  network service without knowing how the service works.
    For Example: Setting connections between two hosts by just calling the intent without knowing what happens in the background.
  • Southbound Abstractions/APIs –
    Southbound abstraction is built using network devices like switches and hosts. Southbound abstraction enables ONOS to control all devices even if they use different protocols. It controls both OpenFlow protocol and legacy devices.
  • Software Modularity –
    Software modularity is splitting the bigger program into smaller ones for easy development and deployment. ONOS exists as a software where a community of developers can develop, debug and upgrade ONOS. The property of Software modularity in ONOS helps the software to customize easily and quickly.

ONOS for next generation :
ONOS has introduced a revolution in Software-defined networks. The combination of ONOS with white box switches and legacy devices introduced a revolution like never before. The next target of ONOS is to develop and host a platform for a wide variety of aspects like control, monitoring, verification, diagnostics, live updates, and support for 5G. The next generation ONOS would have increased availability, scalability, performance, and architecture. It will also support SDN interfaces like gNOI, P4Runtime, gRIBI, gNMI, etc

The next generation ONOS can be used for areas like,

  • Edge networks –
    For edge networks, edge cloud computing operations, native ways for efficiency and agility are provided by Central Office Re-architected as a DataCentre(CORD). So in the future by combining the Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation(NFV) we can provide the users with wireless 5G and enterprise service delivery.
  • Transport networks –
    ONOS can be used for building transport networks in the future. The segregation of career core networks and reassembling of solutions using SDN principles by white box efficiencies can be done by ODTN(Open Disaggregated Transport Network). By doing so we can be building very high-performing networks with very little money.
  • Datacentre –
    ONOS can collaborate with Trellis, which is a multi-tenant data center solution that is built with white box switches and bare metal.

ONOS partnership and community :

  • Service providers of ONOS include at&t, Verizon, NTT communications, etc.
  • The major vendors of ONOS are Ciena, Fujitsu, Huawei, NEC, Intel
  • ONOS collaborated with more than 20 organizations and some of them include Blackduck, Cnit, Kaist, NAIM, ETRI, etc.

Future work of ONOS :

  • In the future, ONOS aims at shifting from field trial to production. This is currently happening at AmLight.
  • The next aim is to deploy more International XPs and RENs.
  • They also plan to test many commercial operators’ field trials.
  • ONOS then has plans of testing 1.3 multi-table pipeline support.
  • Then they aim at supporting multi-layer apps like network virtualization, VPLS, packet optical, etc.
  • Then the ultimate aim of ONOS would be to increase performances, scalability, and stability.

Companies using ONOS :

  • In Comcast, ONOS is being used for building the next-generation access network.
  • Ciena uses ONOS for building network orchestration with ONOS
  • Verizon uses ONOS for the faster transformation of information
  • ECI is developing an ONOS based SDN controller for its companies devices.
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