Princeton University Adds a Brick to the Wall With iSDX Code

By Steve Anderson April 25, 2016

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has made a lot of contributions to the field of open software-defined networking (SDN), including a complete facility known as the code repository where code is kept available for developers who want to make new contributions to the SDN field. Recently, the code repository got one major new depositor, as Princeton University offered up the code from its own project as part of the package.

Princeton's contribution covered its open source Internet Exchange project, otherwise known as the Industrial-Scale Software Defined Internet Exchange Point, or iSDX. The code from iSDX gives the repository 30 open source projects' worth of code in its vaults now, and gives the community that much more to work with. The iSDX project had been under development at Princeton for two years prior to this, and works to give SDN controllers the ability to better manage large volumes of traffic beyond the capabilities of conventional routing.

The repository itself offers not only the code in question, but also some basic frameworks to help it get put to use. Governed by Apache 2.0 and Creative Commons 4.0 BY licensing, and offering not only a standardized set of tools along with localized project governance, most of the basics are immediately in place to get projects off the ground more quickly and open up access to communities all over the world.

Nick Feamster, who serves as both a professor of computer science and Princeton's acting director of the Center for Information Technology Policy, commented “Although today’s announcement represents the culmination of several years of work to date, this partnership will enable an exciting set of new opportunities, exploring a much broader range of applications, modes, and business relationships for Internet interconnection.”

In a way, coding is much like an artistic endeavor, in which components are assembled to create a larger whole, and sometimes, that larger whole can merely be a part of a completely separate body of work. Outside of a large-scale code repository like this, it might ordinarily take some fairly complex licensing arrangements complete with the payment of royalties in agreed-upon amounts. With a code repository, the focus is on getting more projects complete and ready for action. Given that SDN is still a fairly young field, a code repository like this can be a big help in advancing the field by making more completed code available to all users, who can put it to work and build on what's already been done.

With in place, though, it should result in more projects launched, more completed, and a field ultimately advanced much farther than it might have seen without. This is a great move for SDN development, and should yield quite a bit of new fruit for the field. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Contributing Writer

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