Ask the Expert

How to get involved in the OpenDaylight project

Editor's note: Jason Edelman is not speaking on behalf of the OpenDaylight Project but as an observer.

How do I get started with the OpenDaylight Project? Are there OpenDaylight best practices? 

The OpenDaylight Project has only been around for about three months, and there still hasn't been an official release, so there is plenty of time to get acquainted with it. There are no current OpenDaylight best practices either. At this stage of OpenDaylight, there are, however, a few things you can do to get started.

Participate in any way you want. If you are developer, you can contribute code since it's an open source project. But for those nondevelopers, it's also good to know that it's not just open source, but open community. This means that even as a noncontributor, it is possible to dial in to the weekly calls, sign up to email aliases and read through the Wiki to see which projects, or features, will be coming next in OpenDaylight. Participation like this will lead to a greater understanding of the platform once you get your hands on it. Although there is still not an official code drop date --- the first is slated for December 2013 -- it is still possible to download current revisions of OpenDaylight.

Learning the process to download and install OpenDaylight is worth it. Check out OpenDaylight Controller: Installation, which reviews OpenDaylight install and the use of a simple forwarding application, as well as OpenDaylight Controller: Pulling, Hacking, and Pushing the Code from the CLI, specifically the bottom part of the page --- External Links from the Community for Dev and Ops with ODP. There are some good install guides documented there, as well as information about the weekly calls and email threads to join.

As stated earlier, there aren't any best practices per se, but due to the functionality being brought into OpenDaylight, we will likely see many guidelines emerge for particular use cases. It will not be a one-size-fits-all best practice for the controller platform. Companies such as ConteXtream, IBM, NEC, Cisco, Plexxi, and Ericsson are actively contributing code to OpenDaylight that often reflect a portion of their proprietary controller. This means that OpenDaylight will be robust, have many features and be compatible with some proprietary solutions. It's important to note that it's not just companies who are actively contributing to OpenDaylight, but individuals as well. This is why it's just too early to tell what best, or good, practices will look like with OpenDaylight.

This was first published in August 2013

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