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brotherdust
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Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:07 am

Hi Mikrotik,
Please consider implementing
http://www.openflowswitch.org/

This would be not only cool but really useful to have. Plus it would put your hardware on the cutting edge.
 
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Chupaka
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:35 pm

what practical profit do you want to obtain from OpenFlow?
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normis
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:16 am

looks like that's for switches
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Chupaka
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:51 pm

it's for switches and routers, but... why do we need it in MT products? ;)
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brotherdust
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:28 am

Read the documentation and tell me you wouldn't want that kind of control over your network.
 
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Chupaka
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:52 am

tell me you wouldn't want that kind of control over your network
I didn't say I wouldn't. I'm just asking: what will you do with OpenFlow that you can't do now?
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brotherdust
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:29 pm

OpenFlow provides ability to control traffic flow in a very granular way in a centralized way. Instead of managing traffic on individual routers, I would have a services console that would like me manage them as a whole.
In a classical router or switch, the fast packet forwarding (data path) and the high level routing decisions (control path) occur on the same device. An OpenFlow Switch separates these two functions. The data path portion still resides on the switch, while high-level routing decisions are moved to a separate controller, typically a standard server. The OpenFlow Switch and Controller communicate via the OpenFlow protocol, which defines messages, such as packet-received, send-packet-out, modify-forwarding-table, and get-stats.
I think the benefits here are obvious and the implications are enormous when managing a large network. Another quote:
OpenFlow is an open standard that enables researchers to run experimental protocols in the campus networks we use every day. OpenFlow is added as a feature to commercial Ethernet switches, routers and wireless access points – and provides a standardized hook to allow researchers to run experiments, without requiring vendors to expose the internal workings of their network devices. OpenFlow is currently being implemented by major vendors, with OpenFlow-enabled switches now commercially available.
What's particularly interesting to me here is the ability to "run experimental protocols". I wouldn't have to wait for MikroTik to implement a particular routing protocol. I can implement it in OpenFlow.

So, to summarize, how would I use it in ways that aren't already do-able?
- Direct, centralized control over my entire routing infrastructure
- Implement specialized routing protocols that will allow me to optimize my network based on it's unique properties. For instance, OSPF is woefully inadequate to handle a wireless point-to-point infrastructure. The amount of bandwidth available on a link changes from moment to moment. This is just one example. There are newer routing protocols out there that are much better at this.
 
brotherdust
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:31 pm

Another possible benefit? Dumber (simplified) routers. Since the routing vector calculations all take place on a centralized server, routing hardware can concentrate better on what it's supposed to be doing - forwarding packets.
 
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Chupaka
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:40 pm

so at least for each new connection my router will communicate with OpenFlow Server?.. sounds like "Sorry, we cannot send your e-mail right now, because FBI Agent that is reading your messages is out for a short while"...

policy routing with dozens of milliseconds to make decision... sounds crazy %)

seems like I still don't understand OpenFlow :(
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:08 pm

seems like I still don't understand OpenFlow :(
I have no idea either how this is supposed to scale in that manner. All networks that currently run it in production - a couple of segments on some university networks, basically - have fewer flows total than most of my not so busy switches see 24/7.

I can totally see it being useful for stuff like making the router/switch make most of its forwarding decisions like they currently do but to sometimes intervene and write overruling flow forwarding information from a central controller - you'd get central ACLs where the controller can tell all other network devices to drop certain flows. That'd be great for NAC like applications. But given how the most expensive Juniper and Cisco data center products can't do all central flow processing on large networks I don't understand how this product possibly could. On small networks, maybe.
Plus the single point of failure of having a central point making all flow decisions is crazy. You'd have to build a highly redundant controller that's going to be pretty costly for any network where you need to guarantee an SLA.

I'm really puzzled at all the hype it's getting. I don't know what I'm missing.
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:22 pm

I prefer mikrotik routerOS to support ASN identification in trafficflow (NETFLOW).
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brotherdust
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:32 pm

All of you bring up great points. I think some of them can be addressed with good planning, et al central controller redundancy. From what I understand on the spec, the controller isn't responsible for forwarding packets. It's simply in charge of calculating flow (or route) vectors and passing the result of those calculations to the responsible routers. I don't see how that would lead to higher latency, etc. Actually, I think it would reduce latency. Here's a few thoughts:
  • Route convergence time would be greatly reduced because:
    • Neighbor discovery phase is skipped. Central controller already knows what the network looks like
    • Can utilize the vastly more powerful processing power of the controller to calculate route vectors
      • Heck, I could write an OpenCL extension to utilize a hosts GPU for calculations. GPU's would be very well suited for this type of problem
  • Flow/route management can be handled programmatically. If I want, for example, I can write some extensions that will account for link load. I can reduce congestion by directing a portion of the traffic into a less-utilized link, real-time. This can only happen in a centrally-managed network.


Maybe I'm not reading the spec right? There's a LOT of information to go through.

I know this is hard to see, guys. But let us at least have a good discussion about it before we dismiss it. If not OpenFlow, why not something MikroTik-made that does some of this? How amazing would it be to have inexpensive network gear that has these capabilities? MikroTik brought MPLS to the working man and turned up the heat on the big vendors. Why not this? If not this, what?

Ever heard of Anagran?
http://www.anagran.com/
 
petrn
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:37 am

How amazing would it be to have inexpensive network gear that has these capabilities? MikroTik brought MPLS to the working man and turned up the heat on the big vendors. Why not this? If not this, what?
Ever heard of Anagran?
http://www.anagran.com/
guess this FR-1000 price is in 10-20k$? Why you don't ask them to make it cheaper let say 100-200$ as Mikrotik?
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brotherdust
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:00 pm

How amazing would it be to have inexpensive network gear that has these capabilities? MikroTik brought MPLS to the working man and turned up the heat on the big vendors. Why not this? If not this, what?
Ever heard of Anagran?
http://www.anagran.com/
guess this FR-1000 price is in 10-20k$? Why you don't ask them to make it cheaper let say 100-200$ as Mikrotik?
You make a strong point. But, this router can do only a fraction of what I'm talking about. It's main focus is flow-routing. What I'm talking about is centralized programmable flow/route vector management, among other things.
 
brotherdust
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:26 pm

How amazing would it be to have inexpensive network gear that has these capabilities? MikroTik brought MPLS to the working man and turned up the heat on the big vendors. Why not this? If not this, what?
Ever heard of Anagran?
http://www.anagran.com/
guess this FR-1000 price is in 10-20k$? Why you don't ask them to make it cheaper let say 100-200$ as Mikrotik?
You make a strong point. But, this router can do only a fraction of what I'm talking about. It's main focus is flow-routing. What I'm talking about is centralized programmable flow/route vector management, among other things.
I guess I was pointing out Anagran more as an example of a similar, cutting-edge technology.
 
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:50 pm

+1 for OpenFlow support! To answer Chupaka's question about why,

- Separating forwarding and control logic - moving the control plane logic off-device - is great for research and experimental networks
- Allows the development of new protocols and management tools
- Supports network virtualization and partitioning with greater flexibility than current solutions (eg. VLAN, VPLS)

As a business case, follow the lead of HP, Netgear and IBM: you're not cannibalizing RouterOS here, you're just adding an additional interface to your internal forwarding tables. Everybody who uses OpenFlow on RouterBoard would need & want to have a RouterOS license anyways.

OpenFlow is interesting enough to me that I'm going to try running OpenWRT on my RB450G. I expect that a brick may be the end result :)
 
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:09 pm

so, the main idea is that OpenFlow
is great for research and experimental networks
fortunately, our network is production one :)
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normis
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:09 pm

Anybody who wants to test this, should sign up for "Development testing". Email support to get access
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:29 pm

Wow, suddenly OpenFlow!

Thanks for the belated holiday present; just like MPLS all over again. :-)

You guys never cease to amaze!

--Eric
 
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Chupaka
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:07 pm

Eric, looking forward to your success stories and OpenFlow possibilities? :)
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Re: Feature request: OpenFlow protocol! Cutting edge feature

Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:56 pm

Possibilities... endless.

Success stories... that will take a few years (and a few dozen ROS revisions, no doubt).

At this point, it's just a new toy, like MPLS was a few years back. Practical applications will likely come later, just as they did for MPLS.

--Eric

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