Recent developments and availability of commoditized Whitebox (WB) and Baremetal switch designs along with open Network Operating Systems (NOS) have opened the door for new and open source approaches to network software development. Interest is growing in the research community in these devices and the extraordinary development possibilities these devices enable, which may have long term implications for greatly expanding the national infrastructure at lower cost and with increased programming flexibility. Potential advantages of this emerging movement to the research and education networking community include lower cost of ownership for commercial off the shelf hardware, development on widely available Linux-based network operating system, easier integration of network provisioning into available cloud orchestration tools, reduced time in deployment and provisioning, and increased intelligence throughout the network.
This exploratory project at Indiana University investigates the scalability, functionality, and performance of WB platforms in combination with NOS and Software Defined Networking (SDN) technologies including OpenFlow implementations. The project includes creation of a testbed that is shared with network researchers.
- Become experts in the application of the project vendors’ equipment and software.
- Serve as the premier resource for Whitebox switch testing and information in the R&E network space.
- Develop presentation, rraining and implementation materials for the benefit of the R&E community and beyond.
- Provide proof of concept testing to demonstrate capabilities of WB switches to meet current and future needs of campus and R&E network operators.
- Develop and publish reference designs for use cases of interest to campus and R&E network operators for WB switch deployments.
- Provide a platform for research, development and testing on Linux-based network operating systems and Whitebox switches.