OpenFlow-capable Zodiac WX access point

Controlled Landing

Conclusions

The Zodiac WX device is well suited for developing SDN applications on physical hardware. Compared with the Zodiac FX, which only had three active ports, the ability of the WX to connect up to 64 clients is very attractive for network admins.

However, because of the conceptual differences in the hardware, newcomers to SDN development have to pay attention to a few limitations mentioned in the text. Compared with the four- to five-figure cost for larger SDN switches, though, the WX offers a very good price-performance ratio at around $180 dollars.

Additionally, the wireless connection allows the coupling of Internet of Things devices, which often lack an Ethernet connection. Compared with a "normal" OpenWrt access point with the full functionality of a Linux kernel behind it, OpenFlow packages can be manipulated and filtered to a higher degree. The latest version of Zodiac wx, which appeared after this article was written, provides additional integration with Open vSwitch.

Infos

  1. "Affordable hardware switch for SDN" by Konstantin Agouros, ADMIN , issue 34, 2016, p. 22, http://www.admin-magazine.com/Archive/2016/34/Affordable-hardware-switch-for-SDN
  2. SDN-capable Zodiac WX access point: https://northboundnetworks.com/products/zodiac-wx
  3. "Managing Networks with OpenFlow" by Marc Körner, Linux Magazine , issue 162, May 2014 , p. 20, http://www.linuxpromagazine.com/Issues/2014/162/OpenFlow
  4. Open vSwitch: http://www.openvswitch.org
  5. Reunited OpenWrt Project: https://openwrt.org
  6. Floodlight SDN controller: http://www.projectfloodlight.org/floodlight/
  7. OpenDaylight SDN controller: http://www.opendaylight.org

The Author

Konstantin Agouros is Head of Open Source Projects at matrix technology AG, where he and his team advise customers on open source and cloud topics. His latest book Software Defined Networking: SDN-Praxis mit Controllern und OpenFlow [Practical Applications with Controllers and OpenFlow ] (in German) is published by de Gruyter.

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