Why We're Joining the OpenDaylight Project

Interior design, gardening, and marketing all share a rule stating that individual elements seem more balanced when they are grouped in threes.  While home décor, gardens, and marketing are interesting, for me, they don’t hold my attention like a good technology discussion. Let’s borrow the rule to understand why Avaya joined the OpenDaylight Project.

So, why is Avaya good for OpenDaylight?

  • Real-Time Applications Depth: Few companies have as deep an understanding of business communications and collaboration as Avaya. When industry pundits hold forth on the benefits of SDN, it’s those gained from real-time applications that are usually at the top of the list. Avaya will represent the industry well.
  • An Innovative Culture must thrive in a project like OpenDaylight. Not only has Avaya been an innovator for over 30 years in networking through acquisitions and organic development, but Avaya has shown that they are consistent in delivering the best technology possible, period.
  • Industry Collaboration: Avaya realizes that some customers prefer the “whole stack” from one vendor and that some customers prefer a “buffet” from multiple vendors. Avaya technology enables customers to have the best of both worlds and designs products accordingly. Avaya also holds memberships in OpenStack and UCIF.

And why is OpenDaylight good for Avaya?

  • Automation in the Core: The central problems that SDN is meant to address are often caused by a handful of 25-year-old control plane protocols such as xSTP, OSPF, and PIM. Instead of building an SDN control plane on top of an already complex infrastructure, or waiting on a disjointed industry to deliver a new way of implementing the complexity onto white boxes, Avaya already has the foundation for SDN with a technology called Avaya VENA Fabric Connect. Avaya Fabric Connect automates the set-up and tear-down of everything from QoS to routing on the underlying infrastructure, to complement the automation and simplicity of SDN applications managed by the controller. The great news is that Avaya Fabric Connect is field tested and running in customer sites around the globe and was the underpinning for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
  • Innovation in the North: With the automation of the mundane set-up and tear-down of networking tasks, Avaya wants to contribute to creating relevant north-bound API’s that the controller can abstract from the applications and translate for the infrastructure to implement.
  • Hospitality in the South: Avaya understands that the infrastructure may become a very mixed environment. A given site may use legacy switches, Shortest Path Bridging (SPB)-enabled switches, and vSwitches all at the same time. Avaya’s goal is to help evolve southbound API’s to a state that allows the controller to either dictate directly to individual elements in a passive environment or  to delegate to the fabric in an intelligent environment.

In keeping to the rule of three, Avaya’s message to customers is straightforward: Implement Avaya’s foundation for SDN today and plan for open orchestration tomorrow. Here is how:

  1. Implement a network-wide fabric for core automation
  2. Plan for applications with an OpenDaylight Controller
  3. Start defining policies for interactive application performance management and the scope of automation

In short, this relationship is a good fit for Avaya, OpenDaylight, and an industry looking to embrace the promises of SDN. See the announcement of Avaya membership at the OpenDaylight website.