GÉANT and Corsa collaborate to realise Multi-Layer ​​SDN Networking Vision

Open programmable SDN network archite​cture one production step at a time 

OTTAWA, ON (Canada) | June 13, 2016

Corsa Technology​, the leader in performance SDN switching, and GÉANT, Europe’s leading collaboration on e-infrastructure and services for research and education and operator of the pan-European GÉANT network, today announced the next major step forward towards production multi-layer SDN networking.  Using the Corsa DP2000 series, a new open programmable switching and routing platform that delivers 10G and 100G subscriber-level networking, GÉANT is now able to demonstrate an at-scale multi-layer SDN controlled network.


Using ON.Lab’s ONOS™ as the controller in GÉANT, it is possible to handle traffic at different layers, including an SDN Layer 3 domain that also routes traffic to the general Internet.  GÉANT’s team contributed with extensions to ONOS to support multi-table OpenFlow, thus unlocking its ability to perform routing at full internet scale.  This is critical for production SDN routing which will let operators deliver on-demand services and real-time network tuning across a backbone.  In parallel to SDN performance, significant attention is also being paid to the development of GÉANT-tailored multi-table OpenFlow features on the Corsa DP2000s as well as a comprehensive set of operational features that take advantage of the Corsa ultra-granular flow forwarding capability.  These include network statistics and management that are crucial to GÉANT’s vison of production SDN.

“The ongoing challenge for GÉANT and Europe’s ​​NRENs is to continue delivering vital production network services to over 50 million users, whilst pushing the envelope in terms of network evolution to continually increase both the value and capability of the network,” said Steve Cotter, GÉANT CEO. “Innovations such as this are absolutely key to achieving that challenge.” 

GÉANT is building up key elements of their infrastructure with sights on full production SDN. This announcement highlights significant progress with SDN IP routing at scale which is critical for any production network. 

Mark Johnston,  GÉANT ​​​Chief Netwo​rk Operations Officer said, “This collab​​​orative effort with Corsa and ON.Lab shows how we are working with industry and the wider SDN community to advance the technology and determine exactly what is required from the hardware and software to drive SDN into the production network environment.  In this way, we are realizing our SDN vision in an incremental way that does not put production services at risk yet enables us to learn and add the necessary production capabilities in a collaborative way with Corsa and ON.Lab as we progress”

Afrodite Sevasti, head of SDN developm​​​​ent within GÉANT said “Taking advantage of expertise and research that ranges from the optical layer all the way to network management and orchestration, GÉANT is working on SDN solutions that will enable users and user applications to directly program the network behavior. Programmability will offer the ability to use APIs to link applications to the network and remove the dependence on vendor software which will enable greater agility and speed of service development. Greater network programmability makes it feasible to really develop services that will be much more adaptable to meet the needs of the research and education user community.” ​

“The work on-going at GÉANT and Corsa to move towards SDN in p​​roduction is very important. SDN-IP is an ONOS application which speaks BGP and provides a mechanism to share routing information between legacy and SDN domains – in effect, it allows an SDN domain to look like a BGP administrative domain. Having this specific use case drive its evolution to support multi-table pipelines and support at scale operation has been a very important development for all of us in the SDN ecosystem,” commented Bill Snow, VP of Engineering at ON.Lab.

The Corsa DP2000 allows network architects and operators to dynamically partition hardware into independent virtual SDN switches or routers always operating at line-rate regardless of the defined throughput of the virtual forwarding context (VFC).   Each of the VFCs benefits from Corsa’s advanced traffic management and QoS features which control and shape traffic at the per-flow level within each instance to required rates as determined by the orchestration layer and network policy.  Network operators can fine-tune traffic paths to ensure individual customers, subscribers or services receive their appropriate bandwidth and throughput.  In addition, per flow statistics for all traffic is available, offering unprecedented real-time network insights at the most granular level and enabling any manner of predictive traffic management or security.

The DP2000 series is scalable from 100G to 2400G (or 2.4T) of throughput.  This ensures future growth for network operators who can easily scale without requiring any changes to their software platform and whose current hardware wiring can stay intact as the new capacity can be virtually allocated without affecting physical connections.​

About Corsa Technology

Corsa Technology is a networking equipment company delivering WAN-scale open, programmable SDN hardware platforms to customers worldwide.  To enable innovative service offerings, better service level assurance and network management, Corsa SDN switching and routing platforms feature true hardware virtualization with dynamic, programmable traffic management and line-rate per-flow forwarding at internet scale.​

For more information, please visit www.corsa.com​.

About ​​GÉANT

GÉANT is Europe’s leading collaboration on network and related infrastructure and services for the benefit of research and education, contributing to Europe's economic growth and competitiveness. The organisation develops, delivers and promotes advanced network and associated e-infrastructure services, and supports innovation and knowledge-sharing amongst its members, partners and the wider research and education networking community. For more information visit www.geant.org​, follow us on Twitter @GEANTnews and read our latest blog posts at blog.geant.org



To learn more, please contact:

Corsa Technology

Carolyn Raab

(613) 858-5800


Paul Maurice
+44 (0)1223 371362