Running Open Daylight in Production Network on Software Gone Wild

Nick Buraglio used OpenDaylight and OpenFlow-enabled switches to build a part of the exhibition network of a large international supercomputing conference and was kind enough to talk about his real-life experience in Episode 47 of Software Gone Wild.

We covered:

  • The basics of what he was trying to achieve;
  • How the network was SDN-based for years without anyone knowing they should call what they were doing SDN and brag about it;
  • How IPv6 and IP multicast support improved over years;
  • The role of OpenFlow-based access network in the exhibition network;
  • Multiple backup plans they had in case OpenFlow failed;
  • Why they decided to use precomputed static flows instead of a more dynamic approach;
  • How they avoided the need to handle topology changes;
  • How you turn OpenDaylight into a REST-to-OpenFlow converter;
  • How they combined OpenFlow access network with routed core network;
  • Why they selected OpenDaylight over simpler controllers like Ryu or Faucet (spoiler: because they already wrote CLI for ODL);
  • Why they wanted to have CLI in their OpenFlow-based network;
  • The bugs they discovered when building the network;
  • Why you still need networking engineers (or at least someone with good understanding of networking fundamentals) to troubleshoot networks;
  • Why you should start your OpenFlow journey with a hybrid switch that has well-known high-quality traditional networking operating system;
  • Why you SHOULD pair a networking engineer with an awesome programmer to get a good SDN solution.

Finally the good news: it worked.


  1. Very nice podcast. Especially interesting are your comments about re-inventing the wheel. I really appreciate your comments related to the network history - they show the fundamentals of the technology (they separate marketing from the crucial things).
  2. Hi, what was the database/application used to build the network without the SDN controller?
  3. It's a really flexible, proprietary software package built in django with a database back end by some really smart guys. It's not a product, it was purpose built for the show.
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