Game over: SPARC project has successfully ended

The final project review for SPARC has taken place in Brussels in October 2012. The project has successfully ended and fulfilled all its objectives. We have now opened the list of develiverables, so everyone can access and download SPARC deliverables. Furthermore, a new list of all publications, scientific papers, and demo posters and presentations has been added to the SPARC website.

CfP: European Workshop on Software Defined Networks

European Workshop on SDN, October 25-26, 2012, Darmstadt, Germany

A European Workshop on Software Defined Networks will be organized on October 25-26, 2012 in Darmstadt, Germany. The workshop addresses applicability of SDN for various networking problems including but not limited to optical and wireless networks, controller architectures, carrier grade SDN architectures, etc.

Paper submission deadline has been extended: June 30th, 2012

Please find the Call for Papers and further relevant information on the EWSDN website:

Open Networking Summit 2012

Open Networking Summit 2012, April 16-18, 2012, Santa Clara, California, USA

The second Open Networking Summit was scheduled for April 2012. SPARC presented the project's OpenFlow based prototype including advanced MPLS functionality, OAM, and resiliency. For the first time we also demonstrated a Floating Broadband Residential Access Server (BRAS) designed based on the split architecture paradigm. The overall demonstrator showed creation of virtual Ethernet segments using MPLS pseudowire and its integration with a dynamically deployable split BRAS.

The prototype presents a solution for integrating service aware functionality, such as user session management, into our split control architecture. This demo was a successful integration of prototyping activities of the SPARC project. During prototyping we based considered residential internet service, where a dedicated node, the Broadband Residential Access Server (BRAS) implement user session handling functions, for instance PPP tunnel termination and appropriate routing of user packets as well as user session management functions. According to the model the user handling functions are implemented as the combination of a  standalone extended OpenFlow switch together and a dedicated controller. This controller implement some basic control functions, like processing user session initialization. Novel applications to our MPLS OpenFlow controller has been developed to (1) provision necessary MPLS services for providing L2 connectivity between end user and BRAS as well as a IP connectivity from the BRAS to video server through the IP/MPLS code; (2) tracking user sessions and selecting among multiple BRAS instances for the newcoming user session. With the help of these application we can demonstrate how we can selection service nodes dynamically per user session (user session steering) and how the MPLS services are provisioned.
The demo included:

  • The flexible placement and configuration of split BRAS functions at not only at higher aggregation but close to the end users
  • The configuration of the pseudo-wire based Ethernet service between the customer facing edge nodes and the BRAS implementing ones over the MPLS transport
  • The configuration of MPLS tunnel based L3 connectivity between BRAS implementing node and the server facing ones across the IP/MPLS core network, utilizing the OSPF and LDP protocols
  • Resilience options (data plane protection versus control driver restoration) implemented by the MPLS OpenFlow transport networks

We participated on the ONS 2012 as an academic demo, and we gained significant interest from operators and vendors. 


Future Internet Week Poznan

FI week 2011, October 24-28, 2011, Poznan, Poland

On October 24-28, 2011 the second of the biyearly scheduled Future Internet week was organized by PSNC in Poznan, Poland. SPARC attended the whole week and demonstrated carrier-grade MPLS operation within OpenFlow and virtualization of access/aggregation functionality with software defined networking on the project's booth. A joint demo showcasing SPARC functionality within OFELIA was shown at the collocated demo evening jointly organized by the ServiceWave, Future Internet Assembly, and the Future Internet Research & Experimentation (FIRE) group. 


Open Networking Summit 2011

Open Networking Summit 2011, October 17-19 2011, Stanford, California, USA

The first Open Networking Summit took place in Stanford, California on October 17-19 2011. The conference offered the opportunity to discuss approaches for software defined networking and the OpenFlow protocol with the increasing research community. The SPARC project attended jointly with the European FP7 Integrated Project OFELIA the conference and presented a joint demo showcasing steps towards virtualization of access/aggregation networks in SDN. The OFELIA framework offers a European testbed enabling researchers to study and assess OpenFlow based SDN architectures. More information about OFELIA can be found on the project's website.

Collocated with the ONS 2011 the second SPARC industry advisory board meeting was organized to present and discuss results achieved so far in the project.


Future Network & Mobile Summit 2011

FNMS 2011, June 15 -17  2011, Warsaw, Poland

SPARC was represented in Warsaw with a dedicated booth. We presented a poster, a generic and a demo focused flyer, and the prototype demo. The technical content of the prototype demo was the same as the FIA demo in Budapest, we used the PC-based demo setup with a Smart Edge 400 router in a rack.
We had mostly high-level discussions about the project, however there have been some in-depth technical discussions as well, for example with the SAIL and the OFELIA projects.

Have a look on the demo setup and the big iron shown at the booth.



Future Internet Assembly (FIA)

FIA Budapest, May 18-19 2011, Budapest, Hungary

Ericsson sponsored this event and presented SPARC on it's booth. One poster and the prototype demo was shown. The technical content of the prototype demo was similar to what was presented at GEC10. We used a PC-based demo setup with a Smart Edge 400 router in a rack.
We perceived significant queries of several conference participants. We presented our demo to amongst others: Siemens, NSN, NEC Europe; National Center for Scientific Research (Greece), University of Würzburg, Create-Net.

  • On day one (17 May), mainly management people visited the conference, so the focus of the discussion was a bit higher level with less technical content.
  • On day two (18 May), technical people also visited the conference, and the most important discussions around our demo was on that day.

Download the poster shown at the booth.


7th International Conference of IP + Optical Networks (IPOP)

IPOP 2011, June 2-3, 2011, Kawasaki, Japan

The IPOP 2011 conference is a forum for universities, vendors and operators mainly from Japan, with the focus on optical network and multi layer control plane solution. The prototype was presented on the two-day demo session. We used the configuration of the GEC demo. We distributed technology specific flier papers.

10th GENI Engineering Conference (GEC10)

GEC10, March 15-17, 2011, San Juan, Puerto Rico

This demo showed a split architecture based control scheme for an operator’s end-to-end MPLS network, developed within the "Split architecture carrier grade networks" (SPARC) 7th framework EU project.

In our proof-of-concept research work we make use of open-source components (like NOX) and extend them to control an access/aggregation network with a centralized controller that also interworks with a legacy distributed MPLS core network.

In our demo we presented our latest achievements, including:

  • MPLS OpenFlow Controller for best effort Point-to-Point and multicast traffic
  • Seamless interworking with MPLS control plane, represented by a SmarEdge 100 router
  • Establishment of BFD Monitoring in the OpenFlow domain
  • OpenFlow Controller driven restoration and data plane triggered protection

 In the demo screenplay we show:

  • unicast video stream setup as a result of interworking with the core MPLS network, including the use of OSPF and LDP,
  • multicast video stream with dynamic subscription/unsubscription and optimal transmission tree recalculation,  
  • LLDP based controller driven restoration versus data plane managed protection.

We used a notebook-based demo setup with a Smart Edge 100 router.
The demo was well received and appreciated. We have been unique there with presenting MPLS related features.
The community is looking forward to receive the open source version of our controller implementation.

This demo showed a split architecture based control scheme for an operator’s end-to-end MPLS network, developed within the "Split architecture carrier grade networks" (SPARC) 7th framework EU project.



First Meeting of the SPARC Advisory Board Oct. 24, Washington D.C.

The first meeting of the board took place alongside of the MPLS 2010 conference in Washington D.C.

Link to the slideset


SPARC contribution to IST concertation meeting in Brussels, Oct. 19/20, 2010.

The coordinator of SPARC gave an overview of the project's goals and discussed technical objectives with other ICT FP7 projects at the IST concertation meeting in Brussels, October 18th/20th, 2010.

You find the presentation here.


Contribution to MPLS 2010 conference (Ericsson)

SPARC partner ETH reported on first MPLS implementation on top of OpenFlow.

Check the slides for details.


NANOG session on Split Architecture

NANOG has discussed benefits and drawbacks of split architectures.


1st SPARC Joint Consortium Meeting in Budapest

The first Joint Consortium meeting took place in Budapest on October 14th/15th, 2010.


ECOC 2010

Andreas Gladisch, DTAG gave a talk concerning optics in the context of future Internet, looking also into the benefits of split architectures for future optical control planes.

You find the presented slides here.


VNRG meeting at IETF #79

Didier Colle from IBBT presented OpenFlow in the context of network virtualization at the VNRG meeting, collocated with the IETF meeting #79 held in Beijing.

Check the slides for details.