Using The Brocade Vyatta Controller – Part 1

As part of NetDEF, I’ve been working with different SDN controllers, including; the Brocade Vyatta Controller v1.1.1 (BVC), the OpenDaylight Controller (Helium Release) and the ONOS v1.0 Controller.  Of the three, the Brocade Controller has been the most user-friendly and straightforward.

To install the Brocade Vyatta Controller, simply sign up, download, read the quick guide and follow the instructions.  As Lisa Caywood points out in her blog post, there is even a nice video “Install Brocade Vyatta Controller” with links to the files needed to install BVC.

The Setup

BVC_Diagram_1

For my testing, I used a Ubuntu 14.0.4 Server VM with 6G RAM and 32G Disk to run BVC.  For OpenFlow switches I used a pair of Pica8 3290’s running PicaOS v2.5 in crossflow mode.  For end hosts I used four VMs Linux VMs and eight IXIA ports.  The BVC was connected to the switches via the management network.

Testing

My first test was to ping between VM1-VM4. Which showed the correct information in the BVC topology screen:

BVC 4 Hosts

Next, I installed the BVC Path Explorer (the installation was simple and went as shown in the documentation).  I added a few paths, including one that crossed switches and everything worked as expected.

BVC Path Explorer

Once I had everything working as expected with four hosts, I added a few more (about 84).

BVC Zoom Out 80 Hosts

The BVC had no issue adding all of the hosts and allowing them to be interacted with.

BVC Close up 80 Nodes

I also did some testing using postman (a chrome REST API plugin).  Thanks to Keith Burns, who pointed this tool out to me.

Screenshot 2015-01-31 17.21.29

Above is the output of the GET topology command, neatly formatted in JSON.

Screenshot 2015-01-31 17.24.50

 

Above is the output of the OpenDaylight inventory API call, showing some of my hosts.

While I am just starting my testing and plan to do more extensive work utilizing the Vyatta vRouter connector, IXIA OpenFlow tester and other tools/add-ons, I am impressed with the release of BVC 1.1.1.  The software and tools appear to be reasonably stable while the documentation is clear and professional.

About Steven Noble

Founder and Chief Analyst at Router Analysis, Steven has over 20+ years of experience designing and running large networks. Since 1996 he has been heavily involved in writing and executing test plans for networking devices. His professional experience includes CTO of Sideband Networks (Current), VP of Technology at XDN Inc, Technical Leader at Cisco and Procket Networks and Fellow - Network Architecture at Exodus Communications.
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