Software-Defined Networking

Open-source software innovation is driving more agile networks.

The explosion of consumer-driven data and cloud-based services is pushing legacy networks to their limits. Networking architectures must evolve to support new requirements for higher bandwidth, lower latency and overall — agility. Broadcom's software defined networking (SDN) technologies, along with open-source initiatives from key industry leaders, aim to make networks more flexible, programmable and scalable. Built to advance high performance infrastructure, Broadcom’s SDN technologies support a wide range of applications and network management tasks while reducing network complexity, harnessing network-level control and boosting optimization.


Key Partners

Broadcom and Facebook are working to integrate the Broadcom Open Network Switch Library (OpenNSL) with the Facebook Open Switching System (FBOSS). OpenNSL provides the foundational technology that enables FBOSS to be open. LEARN MORE

Broadcom and HP are working together on multiple networking initiatives. Their common goal is to accelerate innovation in the marketplace by leveraging BroadView™ and OpenNSL in open source projects such as OpenSwitch, which is a significant project for cloud networking and the open source ecosystem. LEARN MORE

Broadcom and Microsoft are working together on multiple open networking initiatives, including support of Switch Abstraction Interface project, and BroadView™ open source project. LEARN MORE

Dell is the first OEM to offer a Broadcom OF-DPA solution integrated on their N30xx family of 1 Gb Ethernet Layer 3 switches. After the upgrade, Layer 3 capabilities in the switch have the option to be configured by an external SDN controller optimized for scalability and performance. LEARN MORE

Broadcom and Juniper Networks are working on networking initiatives, with a common goal of accelerating innovation by leveraging Broadcom’s BroadView™ and OpenNSL open source projects. Juniper is porting the BroadView™ agent to its Broadcom-based switches. Juniper is also implementing BroadView™ clients in the Juniper Cloud Analytics Engine and in Juniper Contrail Networking to gather telemetry from both Juniper and third-party networking platforms. LEARN MORE

China Mobile has pioneered the design and implementation of packet-based transport networking (PTN) and is actively leading the introduction of SDN controls in the next-generation Super-PTN network. China Mobile and Broadcom are collaborating on chip-level technologies that are OF-DPA 2.0-based for transport networking, enabling a wide array of existing switch solutions that can be rapidly deployed to meet Super-PTN application requirements and to unleash the full potential of OpenFlow™ over merchant silicon. LEARN MORE


Community Projects

Open Compute Project

The Open Compute Project Foundation is comprised of a rapidly growing community of engineers around the world whose mission is to design and enable the delivery of the most efficient server, storage and data center hardware designs for scalable computing.

Broadcom has developed an Open Switch Specification addressing popular leaf and spine switch configurations and feature requirements, in compliance with the charter defined by the Open Compute Project's (OCP) Networking Project. The Broadcom-contributed Open Switch Specification is based on the widely deployed StrataXGS® Trident switch architecture that supports a large ecosystem of networking operating systems and applications. The adoption of this specification will enable faster innovation in the market, while providing more choice to data center operators and telecom service providers.



Cloud computing is significantly transforming the way traditional IT and telecom infrastructure is built and deployed. OpenStack is a free and open source cloud computing platform, backed by several industry leading players, which offers tools and technologies that work with both virtual as well as bare-metal resources.

Visibility into Top-of-the-Rack (ToR) switches is the critical link in managing cloud networks, where OpenStack has become a de-facto industry standard. Although cloud networks offer lot of flexibility, their scale means that they are growing increasingly complex and more difficult to troubleshoot. Lack of visibility into overlay packets with underlay links is one area where the industry looking to innovate for more effective mapping.

BroadView™ Instrumentation offers unprecedented visibility into packet flows making it easier to trace packets, identify bottlenecks and optimize networks. A custom BroadView plugin is also available for integration with OpenStack’s Ceilometer project, which enables monitoring of physical and virtual resources. The BroadView™ Ceilometer plugin and Collector modules enable easier monitoring of underlay resources in cloud networks and facilitate mapping of overlay flows with underlay links.



Programmable networks have the potential to significantly improve the levels of functionality, flexibility and adaptability of mainstream datacenter architectures. One of the architectural elements required to achieve this goal is a Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) platforms that enable network control and programmability.

OpenDaylight (ODL) is an open, modular, extensible and multiprotocol controller platform built for SDN deployments on modern heterogeneous multivendor networks. Users can easily customize OpenDaylight to meet their specific application/deployment requirements.

The centralized ODL controller leverages network analytics to offer end-to-end network optimization. However, gathering correct telemetry data in a scalable manner isn’t easy, which is where Broadcom's BroadView™ Instrumentation agent, plugin and application for ODL platform comes in.

BroadView Instrumentation, combined with unique telemetry features offered by Broadcom’s silicon portfolio, enables SDN/NFV networks to be optimized end-to-end. BroadView defined open Instrumentation API enables controllers to gather telemetry in a highly scalable and uniform manner across the Broadcom silicon-enabled network nodes.


Open Networking Foundation

The Open Networking Foundation is a user-driven organization dedicated to the promotion and adoption and Software Defined Networking (SDN) through open standards development. It is responsible for introducing the OpenFlow™ standard, which among the first SDN standards and a vital element of an open software-defined network architecture.

The ONF emphasizes an open, collaborative process that is driven from the end user perspective. It continues to analyze SDN requirements, evolve the OpenFlow standard to meet the needs of commercial deployments and research new standard to expand SDN benefits.

Broadcom has worked closely with the ONF in developing and extending the OpenFlow protocol. It is an active member of the Open DataPath Working Group. It has also played a leading role in developing and demonstrating OpenFlow running at scale through its OF-DPA product implemented on the industry leading StrataXGS® and StrataDNX™ architectures.



Software Defined Networking (SDN) represents a new paradigm in the data center, offering innovative technologies that leverage opportunities for unparalleled network-level control and optimization.

By tapping new approaches such as decoupled control and data planes, logically centralized control and intelligence, virtualized infrastructure, programmability of network elements and a new set of open-source analytics and packet tracing tools, network administrators can realize greater visibility into increasingly complex data center operations.

Broadcom SDN technologies are built to advance high performance infrastructure and support a wide range of applications and network management tasks.


OpenNSL is a suite of network switch APIs that is openly available for programming Broadcom network switch silicon-based platforms. OpenNSL software enables the development of new applications on top of Broadcom StrataXGS® and StrataDNX™ switches, giving customers the flexibility to tailor their network equipment and meet their unique infrastructure requirements.


OF-DPA Software is the industry's first openly published implementation of physical switch hardware pipeline abstraction for the Open Networking Foundation's (ONF)



BroadView™ is an instrumentation software suite and an industry-first initiative defining open standard interface for monitoring network congestion. BroadView is a toolset for proactive network management that enables advanced packet-tracing features for optimized network performance. Open source reference implementations offered by BroadView for SDN/NFV networks accelerates innovation in network analytics.