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Collaboration In Action: Getting Acquainted with the ONOS Brigades

May 23, 2017

As the ONOS community continues to grow, clearly communicating the ONOS vision becomes increasingly important to ensure that our large group of contributors work together to advance open source and software defined standards.

The ONOS Project uses the Brigade model to foster cohesive collaboration, in which small dedicated teams form to focus on developing specific core network engineering features for future ONOS releases and performance evaluation of implemented services. ONOS Brigades help connect researchers and engineers across industries and academia who share interests in developing certain features. We set them up for success with a framework for working together at ONF/ON.Lab.

ONOS Project currently has nine Brigades available for members and non-members alike to join and contribute to, including the following:

Read on to learn about these Brigades’ goals and progress to date.

The Build and Package Infrastructure Brigade focuses on making sure that ONOS code-base(s) can be built efficiently, reliably and consistently into a small set of distributable artifacts to make it easy to distribute and deploy ONOS. Some of the Brigade’s goals include fixing the build framework, as per suggestions of investigation, executing a code-base disaggregation plan, and documenting workflow for development and release. If you are interested in any of these activities, subscribe to the Build and Package Infrastructure mailing list and introduce yourself!

The Brigade’s leader, Viswa KSP, SDN/NFV architect at Verizon, noted  “As for community help, we are always looking for new members to assist us in strengthening the Build and Package Infrastructure Brigade. Personally, I think the most unique property of this Brigade is how much of the ONOS eco-system it impacts – as the features delivered out of this Brigade are not localized to any sub-system. Our work is all about improving developer productivity, which will have huge impact on the future of open source. Especially for those who are obsessed with a ‘behind the scenes’ way of thinking, this Brigade would definitely be of interest.”

The Build and Package Infrastructure team during a recent tour of the Stanford campus.

The goal of the Deployment Brigade is to create a concrete stack of software that can be deployed in networks, around the world. The stack should provide Layer 1-3 functionalities, convergence of packet-optical resources, compatibility with the MEF standards for the allocation and the management of Layer2 VPNs, compatibility with the NSI framework – commonly used by RENs for multi-domain resource provisioning. If you are interested in any of these activities, subscribe to the Deployment mailing list and introduce yourself!

The Brigade’s leader, Luca Prete, system and network deployments at ON.Lab, shared “I believe the Deployment Brigade initiative has been a true success, both for the entire community and for the ONOS project. Looking back, it is unbelievable to see how many goals have been achieved in such a short period of time, together. The experience has been technically helpful and valuable for all the new great people met – we always looking for new members willing to contribute!”

The Deployment team in Paris!

The goals of the Dynamic Configuration Brigade include the dynamic configuration of devices, working to enable network operators to seamlessly bring up/down and configure devices from different vendors, along with verifying the configuration with minimal or no human intervention; and the dynamic configuration/provisioning of services, enabling network operators to seamlessly configure and provision a service on the network comprising many devices from many vendors with minimal or no human intervention. If you are interested in any of these activities, contact the brigade at and introduce yourself!

Recently, the team finalized efforts to complete the YANG Tools functionality for the 2.0 release – assisting users of the version 1.11 and YMS to migrate their drivers and applications to the new version in the near future.

The gRPC Brigade – centered around gRPC, an open-source project hosted by CNCF, which provides efficient language-agnostic communication – will enable more ONOS apps to be moved off-platform consuming fewer system resources and providing a degree of isolation to reduce the chances of a fault in an application affecting the system as a whole. The team focuses on creating language packs for other languages to enable use of more complicated models (i.e. topology), adding support for automatic code generation from ONOS service API’s, and exploring the possibility of enabling gRPC for East/West communication. If you are interested in any of these activities, request access to the brigade’s Google Group and introduce yourself!

The Orchestration Brigade focuses on ONOS integration to orchestration & NFV architectures. Committed to communicating with other open source communities for requirements and architecture integrations, they work to integrate ONOS/CORD with:

If you are interested in any of these activities, contact the brigade at and introduce yourself!

The goal of the newly announced P4 Brigade is to make ONOS aware of the new network programmability paradigm, in which forwarding/processing capabilities of networking devices can be changed in time by simply writing and deploying P4 code. This is an important change for ONOS, which so far has evolved around the fixed-function paradigm derived from OpenFlow. P4-awareness into ONOS will affect all layers, from the northbound to the southbound. Support for P4 will affect all layers of the architecture, applications, northbound and southbound. The Brigade will focus on developing new exciting applications that exploit P4 data plane capabilities, design new northbound APIs to ease the programming and reconfiguration of the network, and provide support for P4 runtime protocols in the southbound. If you are interested in any of these activities, subscribe to the P4 mailing list and introduce yourself!

The new Security & Performance Analysis Brigade is working on the discovery of software issues in terms of robustness to attacks, software failures and network failures. According to team leader, Stefano Secci, Associate Professor at the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, “The Security & Performance Analysis team is working to make ONOS even more robust against software failure and external attacks. Our work will put pressure on ONOS core developers to optimize their codes against counter-intuitive events.” If you are interested in any of these activities, contact the brigade at and introduce yourself!

The Teaching Brigade is committed to providing and re-organizing open source modular teaching materials in different levels so that it can be used for courses targeted for different types of audience (networking professionals, undergraduate or master students of different backgrounds, PhD students, software developers with/without experience in new networking technologies, etc,). The team believes in not reinventing the wheel, and reusing available resources from the community in order to build modular structured materials that start by introducing the big image and the presentation of all the NFV/SDN environment tools. The Brigade’s ultimate long-term goal is to provide certification services mainly for ONOS/CORD in addition to the open source training materials and to make a call for sponsorship and collaboration. If you are interested in any of these activities, subscribe to the Teaching mailing list and introduce yourself!

The Virtualization Brigade has centered around making a virtualization subsystem to enable the creation of SDN-capable virtual networks on top of shared physical resources. In 2017, the team’s long-term focus is virtual network pausing, virtual network snapshotting and virtual network embedding. If you’ve contributed previously to ONOS or OVX and love either (or both) projects, this Brigade is for you! If you are interested in any of these activities, contact the brigade at and introduce yourself.

Join us for our first-ever ONF Bootcamp on Tuesday, May 23 in San Ramon! Targeted at business and technology leaders, this day-long event is intended to help newer ecosystem members learn how to navigate and benefit from the SDN/NFV/Cloud transformation taking place across the networking industry. Visit to register!