State of OpenFlow 2012 Notes – Day One/Two

What is the State of OpenFlow at the end of 2012?

This is the question we are looking to answer at Router Analysis, Inc.  Feel free to follow along, we will try to post updates every few days.

Day One and Two

Started Day One, Friday, December 14th, 2012 working with the HP 6200yl switch.  During staging on Thursday night we discovered that the HP switch is hardware locked to only accept HP SFPs.  Not having any HP SFPs we had to order some in overnight.  They arrived about noon Friday and we started our setup.

Now to expand a bit on this subject, I find vendor lock-in especially with regards for commodity equipment such as SFPs unacceptable in this day and age.  I have a lot of SPFs in the office, Finisar, Foundry, Cisco and Intel.  This one issue cost us time and money. Luckily we are well supported by the industry and were able to get some SPFs overnighted for a reasonable price, but it’s still money.

Now that everything was running, we needed to be update the switch to the latest code supporting OpenFlow.  We attempted to load version K.15.6.5008 but got an error : 00000K Wrong file.

Searching the HP website we found that this error appeared to mean that we were loading a version of software that was not valid for the switch.  A quick check via strings on the image showed that it contained the exact part number of the switch we are using J8992A.  After a bit of poking around it turned out that our boot loader image was too old and needed to be upgraded, a few times.  All told we loaded 4 versions of code before we were able to load the proper one, each version upgraded the rom far enough to upgrade to the next version and so on.

To be fair, the @hp_networking twitter account was able to get us the right link to download the software we needed to complete the process.

Once we were running what we thought was the latest OpenFlow code labeled :

K.15.06.5008 (with OpenFlow support)

We started testing using Floodlight and our Intelligent Flow Designer (an internal tool we have developed to create flows from different sources).  Everything was relatively straight forward and worked as expected.

We thought we were good, turns out the latest version that supported OpenFlow (but not labeled so) available on the download page we were using was K.15.10.0003.

Loading K.15.10 removed our OpenFlow configuration as it changed how OpenFlow is configured significantly.  A bit of troubleshooting and we were back up.  I believe we spent around 4 1/2 hours dealing with getting the HP switch running and ready for testing.


We attempted to push 1k flows into the HP box and ran into issues at about 885:

                            No. of    No. of
Instance Name  Oper. Status H/W Flows S/W Flows
-------------- ------------ --------- ---------
floodlight     Up           762       123

I am not sure if this is a limit or if it can be changed.  It is lower than our 1k initial testing limit which is an issue.

Here is what a flow looks like:
Flow 1
Incoming Port : 0 Ethernet Type : IP
Source MAC : 000000-000000 Destination MAC : 000000-000000
VLAN ID : 0 VLAN priority :
Source IP : Destination IP :
IP Protocol : 0x00 IP ToS Bits : 0
Source Port : 0 Destination Port : 0
Priority : 32767
Duration : 13062 seconds
Idle Timeout : 0 seconds Hard Timeout : 0 seconds
Packet Count : 0 Byte Count : 0
Flow Location : Hardware
Output : 5


We spent most of the first 2 days debugging and setting up the HP switch so that we could get some runs on it.  From a customer point of view, it was a bit tough to get everything running as we located multiple sites for code, one of which did not include the versions necessary to upgrade from, nor the OpenFlow code.

Once everything was running we had no issues with the HP and hope this will continue.

Update 1 Sunday December 16th, 9AM pacific.

Did some changes to the HP configuration, Mainly :

HP-6200yl-24G(config)# openflow disable
HP-6200yl-24G(config)# openflow limit policy-engine-usage 90
HP-6200yl-24G(config)# openflow enable
HP-6200yl-24G(config)# exit
HP-6200yl-24G# show openflow
OpenFlow Version 1.0

OpenFlow : Enabled
Max. Policy Engine Usage (%) : 90
Hardware Stats. Refresh Rate : 20 seconds

Instance Information

No. of           No. of
Instance Name Oper. Status H/W Flows S/W Flows
—————– ————– ————– ————-
floodlight            Up                   0                      0

Which allowed us to reach 3840 flows, 1373 in HW and 2467 in Software

No. of    No. of
Instance Name Oper. Status H/W Flows S/W Flows
------------- ------------ --------- ----------
floodlight     Up           1373      2467

Other Posts

State of OpenFlow 2012 – Testing and Analysis

Next Post

State of OpenFlow 2012 – Notes Day 1/2



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