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Project Proposals:USC


Unified Secure Channel

Repo Name



In enterprise networks, more and more controller and network management systems are being deployed remotely, such as in the cloud. Additionally, enterprise networks are becoming more heterogeneous - branch, IoT, wireless (including cloud access control). Enterprise customers want a converged network controller and management system solution.

Typical Future Enterprise Networks

Typical Future Enterprise Networks

Use Cases

Use case 1: Call Home

Network edge initiates the communication to the controller (NMS)


The network edge may be deployed behind a NAT or a firewall, thus the initiation of the session between the controller and network edge has to be from the network edge side; otherwise NAT/FW may drop the session setup request from controller side due to lack of proper states.


  • Not all existing protocols provide call home mechanism, such as telnet, vnc, snmp etc.;
  • Future network service protocols are mandatorily required to provide call home mechanism if it’s server side is on devices.
Call Home

Use case 2: Two-way authentication


Rogue controller may behave as normal controller and respond to devices’ connection request;


  • Some existing protocols don’t provide solid two-way authentication, such as CAPWAP, SNMP etc.;
  • The network edge should also authenticate the controller for its following management and service provisioning.
Two Way Authentication

Use case 3: Unified channel and single-point authentication


Multi-protocol connections between network edge and controller:

    • Set up and maintain connections for each protocol;
    • Provide different authentication and security mechanism;


  • Various connections to handle, secure channel cannot be reused.
  • No consistent and trusted security guarantee;
  • Repetitious authentication between a single device and controller
Unified Channel


A unified secure channel for management and service provisioning





Build a unified secure communication tunnel between network element and controller

1. Create a secure channel

1.1 Allow two-way initiation: Initiate the setup from either one of network element or Controller

1.2 Allow two-way authentication

2. Create a generic mechanism to support various communication protocols

2.1 Invisible to protocols carried

2.2 Multiple protocols share the same tunnel

Resources Committed (developers committed to working)

Initial Committers

Vendor Neutral

  • No vendor package names in code
  • No vendor branding present in code or output of build
  • No vendor branding present in documentation

Meets Board Policy (including IPR)


File:Odl-usc-2014 11 20.pdf