OpenDaylight Project Releases Helium - Stage Two of Open Source SDN Effort

By Paula Bernier September 29, 2014

Software-defined networking open source group OpenDaylight Project today made its second open source software release – called Helium – available for download.

Helium offers a new user interface, easier and customizable installation, deeper integration with OpenStack, and various other performance improvements and features.

The release of Helium follows OpenDaylight Project’s February introduction of Hydrogen, its first open source software release.

OpenDaylight came together in an effort to simplify network management, David Meyer, technical steering committee chair of the group, who spoke with NFVZone earlier this year about the initial software release. Activities under the OpenDaylight Project umbrella are moving along at a rapid clip, according to the organization.

The group now has at least 154 people contributing. Member companies of OpenDaylight include Brocade, ConteXtream, Ericsson, IBM, Inocybe, NEC, Radware, and Qosmos.

In an interview with SDN Zone earlier this month, Kelly Herrell, Brocade’s vice president and general manager of software networking, said that OpenDaylight allows for control a variety physical and virtual network elements in a multivendor environment, which he said is important since nobody’s building single vendor networks anymore.

There’s been a lot of confusion to date around controllers and another technology known as OpenFlow, he added, but OpenFlow controls only the switch, not routers and other network elements. Herrell drew a separate analogy to explain what an SDN controller does. Today’s network is like a doll in a static position, he said. Even if you move the doll at its joints, you are only moving it from one static position to another. But if you rig it with strings, you can turn it into a marionette and change it dynamically, he said. The controller, in this scenario, is the handle attached to the strings.

This kind of dynamic control, he added, is important because it turns the table and puts customers – meaning the network operators – in control of their features, rather than their vendors having that control. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Executive Editor, TMC

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