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Platform Overview

OpenDaylight (ODL) is a modular Open SDN platform for networks of any size and scale.

ODL enables network services across a spectrum of hardware in multivendor environments. Our microservices architecture allows users to control applications, protocols and plugins, as well as to provide connections between external consumers and providers. ODL’s development is driven by a large, global community that updates the platform roughly every six months and continuously adapts it to support the industry’s broadest set of SDN and NFV use cases.

Most networks have been architected to accommodate the needs and workloads of the moment. With SDN you can optimize existing networks to fit your needs today, and more easily adapt them as your requirements change. Because there isn’t just one implementation for SDN, OpenDaylight is building a common platform that can be configured in any number of ways to solve your network challenges. ODL integrates open source, open standards and open APIs to deliver an SDN platform that makes your network more programmable, intelligent and adaptable.


Microservices Architecture

ODL employs a model-driven approach to describe the network, the functions to be performed on it and the resulting state or status achieved.

By sharing YANG data structures in a common data store and messaging infrastructure, OpenDaylight allows for fine-grained services to be created then combined together to solve more complex problems. In the ODL Model Driven Service Abstraction Layer (MD-SAL), any app or function can be bundled into a service that is then then loaded into the controller. Services can be configured and chained together in any number of ways to match fluctuating needs within the network.

  • Only install the protocols and services you need
  • Ability to combine multiple services and protocols to solve more complex problems as needs arise
  • Modular design allows anyone in the ODL ecosystem to leverage services created by others


Multiprotocol Support

ODL includes support for the broadest set of protocols in any SDN platform - both traditional and emerging - that improve programmability of modern networks and solve a range of user needs.

For example the platform supports OpenFlow and OpenFlow extensions such as Table Type Patterns (TTP), as well as traditional protocols including NETCONF, BGP/PCEP and CAPWAP. Additionally, ODL interfaces with OpenStack and Open vSwitch through the OVSDB Integration Project. The ODL community will continue to evaluate and integrate protocols to provide the best level of support for its user base.

  • Deploy into existing or greenfield networks
  • Broadest set of protocol support available - from NETCONF to OpenFlow
  • Open source development model allows for continuous innovation


S3P: Security, Scalability, Stability and Performance

The ODL community provides continual improvements across all its projects in the areas of security, scalability, stability and performance, or “S3P” as we call it. Our Testing and Integration groups, along with people from each individual project, work together to run ongoing tests that give developers real-time results to see how changes affect S3P. We continue to evolve our development process to ensure that we can understand and monitor improvements in each of these four areas.

ODL is also working with OPNFV in support of a Controller Performance Testing project that would create industry wide performance tests for SDN controllers in realistic, large, automated deployments. Those involved hope to foster collaboration between benchmarking experts from academic/standards backgrounds and the upstream engineers who implement actual performance benchmarks in modern Continuous Integration environments.

Security is another key area of focus for ODL with each new release including better, tighter security features. The platform provides a framework for Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA), as well as automatic discovery and securing of network devices and controllers. Additionally we have a strong security team and process to respond to any vulnerabilities immediately. In general, open source software has major advantages when it comes to security: anyone can find and report vulnerabilities; we can draw on a wide array of experts and developers across companies to discuss and fix vulnerabilities; and the community-at-large can see how such issues are addressed transparently and understand if the issue really has been fixed.

  • Strong focus on security, scalability, stability and performance of ODL
  • Continuous integration and testing of all projects
  • Documented and transparent security process to identify and enable immediate fixes


OpenDaylight’s Ecosystem

OpenDaylight code has been integrated or embedded in more than 20 vendor solutions and apps, and can be utilized through a range of services and consulting firms. Learn more in our Open SDN Ecosystem Directory.


Policy & Intent

With SDN we can achieve network programmability and abstraction, but then comes the question of how we manage it. By publishing common API frameworks, app developers can create abstractions North or South of the controller without having to look under the hood. There are several approaches to intent and policy that allows users to do this within ODL. In fact as the industry’s de facto Open SDN platform, ODL is the primary place for the development and testing of different approaches to policy and intent such as ALTO, Group Based Policy and Network Intent Composition. We are working closely with a number of industry groups like Open Networking Foundation and IETF to vet and test the different approaches.

  • ODL is the epicenter for development and testing of policy and intent approaches
  • App developers can write abstractions without having to dive under the hood
  • Growing list of APIs included in the platform


The modularity and flexibility of OpenDaylight allows end users to select whichever features matter to them and to create controllers that meets your individual needs. We have a very supportive, growing and active community of hundreds of developers who are continuously evolving and expanding the platform. Visit How to Get Started with OpenDaylight to see the different ways you can use the platform or participate in the project.

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