The OpenBox Controller – Northbound API

Dan Shmidt, Yotam Harchol, Anat Bremler-Barr
Projects, thesis, and dissertations
Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)


Most modern networks nowadays contain a massive amount of appliances, each appliance typically executes one network function (NF) (eg. Firewall). Each such appliance is bought, configured and administered separately. Most NFs perform some kind of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). OpenBox provides a framework for network-wide deployment and management of NFs which decouples the NFs control plane from NFs data plane. OpenBox consists of three logic components. First, user-defined OpenBox Applications that provide NF specifications. Second, a logically-centralized OpenBox Controller (OBC) which serves as the control plane. Finally, OpenBox Instances (OBI) constitute OpenBox’s data plane.

This work presents a design and implementation [2] for the user facing interface of the OpenBox Controller, which allows network administrators to efficiently create and manage their NFs. The implementation supplies users with a framework from which they can build and experiment with NFs, as well as a functioning OpenBox Controller which loads NFs and manages the OpenBox control plane. The design is extensible and allows OpenBox future developers to quickly add more functionality and retrieve more data from the control plane.