Architecture and components of the AtlanticWave-SDX
The AtlanticWave-SDX (AW-SDX) is being built as a distributed, multi-domain, wide-area SDX platform that controls many network switches across the U.S. and South America. Its primary user audience is network administrators and domain scientists. Because of its distributed nature, the AW-SDX architecture is split into multiple layers: (1) Users, Orchestrators and Applications; (2) the AW-SDX Controller; and (3) the Local Controllers (LC).
The SDX Controller provides northbound interfaces for external requests from orchestrators, users, and applications. Orchestrators that are currently supported are SENSE and NSI. Users consist of domain scientists and network operators. They are supported through different web interfaces with meaningful input templates for each external request, as well as through a REST API. Applications, such as scientific workflow management systems, that consume end-to-end services composed by an SDX controller, are also supported through a REST API. Authentication and Authorization of external requests are the responsibility of the AW-SDX Controller. The AW-SDX Controller breaks down policies from the northbound interfaces to rules for the Local Controllers. A Local Controller-to-SDX API (LC/SDX API) enables the AW-SDX Controller to maintain a full topology of the network.
Local Controllers (LC) operate at each local exchange point site. Each site has a LC and local switches that collectively define the Local Data Plane. LCs translate rules into a switches’ lower-level southbound interface. LCs are responsible for relaying status information from a resource to the SDX Controller. Southbound interfaces currently supported are OpenFlow 1.3, and OpenFlow 1.3 with Corsa extensions. Southbound interfaces are designed to add new interfaces easily, such a P4, compute and storage, and extensions for K8S.