OpenFlow Plugin Architeture


OpenFlow is a vendor-neutral standard communications interface defined to enable interaction between the control and forwarding layers of an SDN architecture. The OpenFlow plugin project intends to develop a plugin to support implementations of the OpenFlow specification as it develops and evolves. Specifically the project has developed a plugin aiming to support OpenFlow 1.0 and 1.3.x. It can be extended to add support for subsequent OpenFlow specifications. The plugin is based on the Model Driven Service Abstraction Layer (MD-SAL) architecture.


  • Southbound plugin and integration of OpenFlow 1.0/1.3.x library.

  • Ongoing support and integration of the OpenFlow specification.

  • The plugin should be implemented in an easily extensible manner.

  • Protocol verification activities will be performed on supported OpenFlow specifications.

High Level Architecture

  • OpenFlowJava: is a library that implements the OpenFlow codec – it translates OpenFlow messages into their respective internal representations and vice versa.

  • OpenFlow Plugin: terminates sessions to OpenFlow switches, provides a per-switch low-level OpenFlow service API (add-modify-flow, delete-flow, etc.)

  • Statistics Manager: is responsible for collecting statistics and status from attached OpenFlow switches and storing them into the operational data store for applications’ use.

  • Topology Manager: is responsible for discovering the OpenFlow topology using LLDP and putting them into the operational data store for applications’ use.

  • Forwarding Rules Manager: the “top level” OpenFlow module that exposes the OF functionality to controller apps, provides the app-level API. Main entity that manages the OpenFlow switch inventory and the configuration (programming) of flows in switches. It also reconciles user configuration with network state discovered by the OpenFlow plugin.


It is strongly recommended that any production deployments utilising the OpenFlow Plugin do so with TLS encryption to protect against various man-in-the-middle attacks. For more details please refer to the TLS section of the Operations guide.

Protocol Coverage

Coverage has been moved to a GoogleDoc Spreadsheet

OF 1.3 Considerations

The baseline model is a OF 1.3 model, and the coverage tables primarily deal with OF 1.3. However for OF 1.0, we have a column to indicate either N/A if it doesn’t apply, or whether its been confirmed working.

OF 1.0 Considerations

OF 1.0 is being considered as a switch with: * 1 Table * 0 Groups * 0 Meters * 1 Instruction (Apply Actions) * and a limited vocabulary of matches and actions.