In the following we provide an exhaustive list of all features supported.

SDN Features

  • ONOS cluster of all-active N instances affording N-way redundancy and scale, where N = 3 or N = 5

  • Unified operations interface (GUI/REST/CLI)

  • Centralized configuration: all configuration is done on the controller instead of each individual switch

  • Centralized role-based access control (RBAC)

  • Automatic host (end-point) discovery: attached hosts, access-devices, appliances (PNFs), routers, etc. based on ARP, DHCP, NDP, etc.

  • Automatic switch, link and topology discovery and maintenance (keepalives, failure recovery)

L2 Features

Various L2 connectivity and tunneling support

  • VLAN-based bridging

    • Access, Trunk and Native VLAN support

  • VLAN cross connect

    • Forward traffic based on outer VLAN id

    • Forward traffic based on outer and inner VLAN id (QinQ)

  • Pseudowire

    • L2 tunneling across the L3 fabric

    • Support tunneling based on double tagged and single tagged traffic

      • Support VLAN translation of outer tag

L3 Features

IP connectivity

  • IPv4 and IPv6 1 unicast routing (internal use of MPLS Segment Routing)

  • Subnetting configuration on all non-spine facing leaf ports; no configuration required on any spine port

  • Equal Cost Multi-Path (ECMP) for traffic across spine switches

  • IPv6 router advertisement

  • ARP, NDP, IGMP handling

  • Number of flows in spines greatly simplified by MPLS Segment Routing

  • Further reduction of per-leaf flows with route optimization logic

DHCP Relay

DHCP L3 relay

  • DHCPv4 and DHCPv6

  • DHCP server either directly attached to fabric leaves, or indirectly connected via upstream router

  • DHCP client directly either attached to fabric leaves, or indirectly connected via LDRA

  • Multiple DHCP servers for HA


vRouter presents the entire SD-Fabric as a single router (or dual-routers for HA), with disaggregated control/data plane

  • Uses open-source protocol implementations like Quagga (or FRR)

  • BGPv4 and BGPv6

  • Static routes

  • Route blackholing

  • ACLs based on port, L2, L3 and L4 headers


Centralized multicast tree computation, programming and management

  • Support both IPv4 and IPv6 multicast

  • Dual-homed multicast sinks for HA

  • Multiple multicast sources for HA


  • Provide easy access for 3rd party edge application developers and for the Aether centralized management platform

  • Support for traffic redirecting, dropping, network slicing and QoS

Data Plane Programmability

  • Support for Stratum, P4Runtime/gNMI, and P4 programs

  • Open source fabric-tna P4 program that can be modified for additional features

4G & 5G

  • Two User Plane Function (UPF) implementations:

    • Switch-based with fast path realized on Tofino with P4 (P4-UPF)

    • CPU-based with fast path realized with Berkeley Extensible Software Switch framework (BESS-UPF)

  • Integration with mobile core control plane via PFCP protocol (3GPP standard interface)

  • Supported features:

    • GTP encap/decap, including support for 5G QFI extension header

    • Usage reporting rules (URR)

    • Downlink buffering and data notifications

    • Application filtering (via SDF filters)

    • Per-application, per-session, per-slice rate limiting (via QER)

    • Per-flow QoS metric (BESS-UPF only)


  • Inband Network Telemetry (INT):

    • INT-XD mode with support for flow reports, drop reports, queue congestion reports

    • Smart triggers/filters to reduce volume of reports ingested by the INT collector

Troubleshooting & Diagnostics

  • T3: Troubleshooting tool to diagnose broken forwarding paths fabric wide (work in progress)

  • ONOS-diags: One-click diagnostics collection tool for issue reporting


SD-Fabric can start at the smallest scale (single leaf) and grow horizontally.


Single Leaf (ToR)

This is the minimum SD-Fabric setup. In this setup, all servers are connected to a single switch.


Single Leaf Pair (Dual-Homing)

Compared to a single switch, it provides redundancy in terms of server NIC failure and link failure.


Leaf-Spine (without pairing)

Provide horizontal-scalability for multi-rack deployments, with redundancy for spine switch failures:


Leaf-Spine (with pairing)

It supports all the redundancy and scalability features mentioned above.


Multi-Stage Leaf-Spine

Multi-stage is specifically designed for telco service providers. The first stage can be installed in the central office, while the second stage can be installed in a field office that is closer to the subscribers. Two stages are typically connected via long distance optical transport.



Provides HA in the following scenarios:

  • Controller instance failure (requires 3 or 5 node ONOS cluster)

  • Leaf-spine link failures

  • Spine switch failure

Further HA support in following failure scenarios with dual-homing enabled:

  • Leaf switch failure

  • Upstream router failure

  • Host NIC failure


In Production
  • Up to 80k routes (with route optimization)

  • 170k Flows

  • 600 direct-attached hosts

  • 8 leaf switches

  • 2 spine switches

In Pre-Production
  • Up to 120k routes (with route optimization)

  • 250k flows

  • 600 direct-attached hosts

  • 8 leaf switches

  • 2 spine switches

4G/5G specific
  • 5000 active UEs, 10 calls per second


  • TLS-secured gRPC connection between controllers and switches (work-in-progress)


Fully integrated with Aether (5G/4G private enterprise edge cloud solution) including deployment automation, CI/CD, logging, monitoring, and alerting.

Overlay Support

Can be used/integrated with 3rd party overlay networks (e.g., OpenStack Neutron, Kubernetes CNI).

Orchestrator Support

Can be integrated with an external orchestrator, optionally running from the public cloud Supports logging, telemetry, monitoring and alarm services via REST APIs and Elastic/Fluentbit/Kibana, Prometheus/Grafana

Controller Server Specs

Recommendation (per ONOS instance) based on 50K routes
  • CPU: 32 Cores

  • RAM: 128GB RAM. 64GB dedicated to ONOS JVM heap

Recommendation (per ONOS instance) for 5K UEs when enabling UPF:
  • CPU: 1 Cores

  • RAM: 4GB RAM

White Box Switch Hardware

  • Multi-vendor: APS Networks™, Dell™, Delta Networks™, Edgecore Networks™, Inventec™, Netburg™, QCT™

  • Multi-chipset: - Intel Tofino (supports all features, including UPF & INT) - Broadcom Tomahawk®, Tomahawk+®, Trident2 (traditional fabric features only)

  • 1/10G, 25G, 40G, and 100G ports

  • Refer to Supported Devices list in https://github.com/stratum/stratum for the most up-to-date hardware list

Aether-verified Switch Hardware

White Box Switch Software

  • Open source ONL, ONIE, Docker, Kubernetes

  • Stratum available from ONF



IPv6 support on the data plane (P4 program) is still work-in-progress.