The NaaS challeng

While dynamic and multi-domain provisioning of network resources has been a long-standing research area, the rise of Cloud Computing now imposes even more challenging requirements.

Very often, organisations do not have the capability to manage their network infrastructures, whether to build new ones, or to have tools to manage their part of the network as it has remained under the control of the infrastructure providers. These organisations need a solution that offers them an Infrastructure as a Service with the capability to configure or deploy their own services on top.

Users should have the capability to manage any part of the infrastructure they receive or to deploy any type of application on top. Beyond smarter applications, this opens the possibility of “Pay as you grow” models.

The OpenNaaS framework

In order for NRENs and operators to be able to deploy and operate innovative NaaS offerings, an appropriate toolset needs to be created. With such goal in mind, Mantychore FP7 has created the OpenNaaS framework.

OpenNaaS was born with the aim to create an open source software project community that allows several stakeholders to contribute and benefit from a common NaaS software stack. OpenNaaS offers a versatile toolset for the deployment of NaaS oriented services. The software is released with a dual L-GPL/ASF licensing schema that ensures that the platform will remain open and consistent, while commercial derivatives can be built on top. This open schema allows trust to be built on the platform, as NRENs and commercial network operators can rely on the continuity, transparency and adaptability of the platform.

In that sense, each network domain would be able to use their own OpenNaaS instance to:

  • Get resources from the network infrastructure: routers, switches, links or provisioning systems.
  • Abstract them to service resources, independently of vendor and model details.
  • Embed instantiation of virtualized resources in the regular BSS workflows.
  • Delegate management permissions over the infrastructure resources they own so that “Infrastructure integrators” can control them during a period of time.

With an eye on versatility and smooth integration, OpenNaaS offers a powerful remote command line, as well as web-service interfaces. This web-service interface will offer the possibility to both build a GUI and integrate it with existing middleware applications already deployed in the virtual research organisations.

The OpenNaaS extensions

Several extensions for OpenNaaS are being developed inside the Mantychore FP7 project. Beyond that, other extensions are being created in parallel projects, leveraging the same core components and bringing reusability across distinct research efforts. As of version 0.9, OpenNaaS supports the following abstracted resources:

  • Routers
  • ROADM’s
  • BoD Domain services
  • IP Networks

For the Router resource, a driver for JunOS has been implemented which supports virtualization (interfaces and routing instances), IP, routing (static and OSPF) and GRE tunnels. More capabilities will be added in the near future, such as IPv6 and firewalling. The ROADM extension allows dynamically modifying the ROADM switching table between optical channels.

On the other hand, the BoD Domain represents an opaque domain, controlled by a provisioning system that the user can call to obtain L2 links. The current implementation supports GEANT BoD (AutoBAHN).

The IP Network resource groups together Routers and BoD Domain resources into a logical unit, while adding a topology. This allows users to manage all the resources in an orchestrated way (currently you can deploy network-wide OSPF configurations). Furthermore, it allows delegating configuration rights to users in an aggregated mode, instead of dealing with individual infrastructure resources.

The OpenNaaS roadmap

OpenNaaS has a roadmap, which can be influenced by the community members. A summary of this roadmap is as follows (if you would like to influence this roadmap, please refers to the community section below).

In the short term, a connector for OpenNebula 3.0 will be developed. This will allow the integration of computing and storage resources with network provisioning workflows. While, in a longer term, OpenNaaS aims at being a drop-in replacement for OpenStack’s NaaS module also. On the security front, SAML and an ACL engine will allow integration with existing authentication systems (i.e. EduGAIN), while keeping fine-grained access control to OpenNaaS resources.

Currently under development is a porting of the Harmony service, which provides lightweight inter-domain capabilities and Bandwidth on Demand provisioning of transport network services. An infrastructure Marketplace and energy awareness prototypes are also under development. Likewise, OpenFlow support will also be explored.

The OpenNaaS user community

The OpenNaaS user community could be split in 3 different roles:

  • Infrastructure Providers: Those who own a network infrastructure (NRENS or telecom operators) and need enhanced flexibility in order to lease virtualized slides.
  • Service Providers: While traditionally overlapping with the infrastructure provider, this emerging role is composed of those who aggregate third party virtual infrastructure resources, in order to add value for concrete customers or vertical markets. A service provider needs to maintain tight control on what resources are being consumed and the management rights delegated to end-users.
  • End-User: The NaaS end-user has sophisticated needs which go beyond the pure consumption of the networking infrastructure. Complex and demanding applications not only need a certain degree of management control over the resources, but also need quick and on demand provisioning.

With this in mind, the following user groups can benefit from OpenNaaS:

  • Network and datacenter operators who seek to provide richer virtualization services to their customers.
  • Infrastructure management software, i.e. cloud managers, provisioning systems or simple software projects which can benefit from extended infrastructure management and awareness.
  • Research groups or individuals who would like to use a virtual infrastructure and reuse the framework in order to focus in the relevant business logic.
  • Equipment manufacturers and solution providers who seek added value through integration and interoperability.

Initially four research communities will benefit from OpenNaaS powered services: the Danish Health Data Network, the British Advance High Quality Media Services, the Irish NGI effort, and NORDUnet through their cloud services These services will be deployed in UNI-C, NORDUnet and HEAnet. The OpenNaaS community