Cambridge, MA – July 17, 2017 – Brain4Net, an innovative SDN/NFV solution vendor and ONF member, today announced that B4N SwitchOS for X86 platforms has successfully completed the certification process under OpenFlow Conformance Testing Program at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), an independent provider of broad-based testing and standards conformance solutions for the networking industry, and received the OpenFlow Version 1.3.4 Switch Conformance Test Report. As a result, B4N SwitchOS has become the world’s first* OpenFlow switch for X86-based platforms which passed the extensive rounds of testing.

Brain4Net’s product development strategy is aimed on building service-oriented and fully converged networks with bare-metal hardware, while implementing disaggregated control and service layers above. This strategy generates an important momentum for the networking industry by providing customers with the freedom of hardware choice without vendor lock-in and the ability to select the best fitting equipment option while supporting the same feature-set. Customers are now able to build their networks in a plug-and-play manner by using different switching systems as building blocks.

In pursuing this strategy, Brain4Net has developed B4N SwitchOS as part of the B4N Service Platform, the flagship product of Company. B4N SwitchOS is a lightweight multi-platform Network OS which delivers high-performance packet processing in virtualized environments as well as on hardware appliances, including ASICs, NPUs, and X86 platforms. The product is intended to introduce hardware abstraction by delivering the same user experience and feature-set, regardless of hardware assets installed in the network. B4N SwitchOS helps customers to enable feature-rich SDN networking by supporting the full set of OpenFlow 1.3.4 features, flexible pipelines and value-added features beyond the industry specifications.

To ensure compliance with industry standards, Brain4Net’s products are independently certified by a third-party certification partner. In particular, B4N SwitchOS was certified by the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab, the certification laboratory of ONF. The lab is one of the most authoritative bodies in the SDN industry and has hosted both interop and testing events in various technologies for over 25 years.

OpenFlow Conformance testing program completion guarantees the highest level of product conformance with an OpenFlow specifications as well as the product readiness for commercial deployment. It ensures customer confidence in B4N SwitchOS’s ability to meet the functional requirements of OpenFlow-based Software Defined Networks.

Additional benefits for customers are:

  • Increased confidence of the product’s performance and functionality through continual improvement and Brain4Net’s attention to the importance of industry certification
  • Proven quality of B4N SwitchOS
  • Significantly reduced costs of deployment as product issues are found prior to production deployment.

As a result of a concentrated effort by the Brain4Net R&D team and our partners from the UNH-IOL, B4N SwitchOS has become the world’s first OpenFlow switch for X86 systems by successfully passing more than 500 extensive tests in accordance to OpenFlow Conformance Testing Program!,” said Oleg Schapov, CEO of Brain4Net. “The validated OpenFlow conformance guarantees that x86-based hardware appliances with installed Network OS by Brain4Net will meet the technical requirements of a OpenFlow-based network. By combining service-oriented and converged network building approaches, vendor-independent network architecture, third-party validated performance and standards conformance, Brain4Net solutions provide quantifiable advantages to our clients from both technical and financial sides.”

“I am very pleased to congratulate the entire Brain4net team on successfully completing the OpenFlow Conformance Testing challenge. The Brain4Net R&D team did an outstanding job while testing SDN conformance and interoperability,” said Timothy Winters, Senior Executive, Software and IP Networking at the UNH-IOL. “We are excited to add the B4N SDN switch to our test bed and advance our expertise in this new era of networking.”

Testing Program & Procedures

The ONF Certificate of Conformance provides a trusted and independent level of confidence. All tests are performed by ONF-approved independent testing agencies that perform testing according to ONF procedures. Certification Program defines the requirements and corresponding test cases that determine the conformance of an OpenFlow v1.3.4–enabled switch.

To guarantee that the test specification is fully conformant, test cases were carefully designed for every single point in the OpenFlow Switch Specification 1.3.4. The program includes more than 500 test cases divided into specific groups:

  • Control Channel test cases group ensures that OpenFlow agent supports negotiation TLS connection to SDN Controller, version negotiation and stays active after failing specific components;
  • Controller to Switch Messages group provides test cases to check that OF agent can exchange standard messages with Controller;
  • Test Cases groups that ensure correct work with Flow Tables – Flow Table Miss, Matching, Match Prerequisites, Match Combinations, Actions, Action Set, Modifications, and Errors;
  • Counters Group of test cases;
  • Protocol Messages Groups – OFPT messages, structure protocol messages, action header protocol messages, Switch Features and Switch Config protocol messages, Flow Mod, Multipart Reply, Packet Out, Packet In, Flow Removed. This Group contains more than 250 extensive test cases!
  • Error Messages Group, which ensures correct handling of error messages
  • Symmetric Messages.

The Results

Brain4Net claimed that B4N SwitchOS to fall under OpenFlow 1.3 Conformance certificate level, and has successfully passed 100% of OpenFlow Conformance Testing Program in that level.

Achieved results affirm that B4N SwitchOS is the right choice as virtual Switch for KVM hypervisor within OpenStack environment or standalone lightweight Network OS for X86-based appliances (for example, server-switch solution). The product can be successfully implemented as a part of the following use cases:

  • Virtual CPE use case. B4N SwitchOS can be implemented as virtual Switch on Compute nodes serving CPE functions in Telco DC, while assuring more than 30% higher throughput performance compared with Open vSwitch (OVS) accelerated by Intel DPDK;
  • Obviously, switching now extends to servers that serves tens to hundreds VMs or thousands of Containers / Microservices. Customers seek an approach to “blur the lines” between physical and virtual networks, and B4N SwitchOS is the best-fit approach, in conjunction with B4N Service Platform. It delivers extensive feature set for SDN-based Data Center networking fabrics, and enables Customers to move from legacy Core-Access or Overlay/Underlay designs to fully converged (physical/virtual) CLOS topologies. IT enables Enterprises and Service Providers to simplify management and make it easier to scale up/down, move and share resources to better support fluctuating demands, optimize utilization and reduce overall costs;
  • As replacement of MPLS Router. By installing B4N SwitchOS on X86 network appliance, Customers turn ordinary x86 device into feature-rich SDN Router. By using with B4N Controller, which delivers support of QoS, BGP, Traffic Engineering, Fast Failover and many other features, this appliance with B4N SwitchOS installed can be implemented as the Client Edge, Transit or Service Edge Router at Metro Ethernet or Mobile Backhaul Networks. This solution enables Communications Service Provider to simplify network management, service provisioning and reduce hardware costs.
  • As the software agent for Edge Devices in Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN) deployments.

The document with detailed test results is published at Brain4Net website. Customers can ensure that B4N SwitchOS is the best choice for their SDN deployment either as commercial ready virtual switch for hypervisors, or lightweight Network OS for x86 platform!

* According to information at OpenNetworking website: