[dev] FRR North bound API

Philippe Guibert philippe.guibert at 6wind.com
Sat Nov 17 03:26:03 EST 2018

Hi Anzal,

I agree with your proposal, with some concerns however.

I presented a few weeks ago at FRR weekly meetings, some slides about
what would be the mechanisms involved for an SDN controller to be able
to use FRR as BGP speaker. ODL can be the target, obviously. See in

The yang solution applied to BGP northbound API has been proposed.

However, there were two remarks:
- on the data exchanged between SDN and FRR.
What was ok was for configuration ( BGP, VPN, BGP peers, ...), since
it fits well with BGP NB API.

However, at one moment, SDN had to populate the IPs information coming
from its VMs. The best solution was to use an other API plugged into
ZEBRA ( and not BGP), so that this IP information could be seen as a
remote dataplane. Here, the API is not well defined yet. Should this
API be equipped with Yang too?

- on the constraints between SDN and FRR. Some API require performance.
For instance, will yang fit well when SDN retrieves thousands of
prefix entries ?

Remember that if you use a netconf server like netopeer, the data flow
will look like the below:
odl client <---> netopeer server <---> sysrepo server <---> bgp/zebra server

which may not be the optimised path when you want to retrieve a lot of
prefix entries. to be confirmed.

There is an alternative. From document [1], figure 2 depicts a new NB
API that bypasses sysrepo, and relies on scripts (it looks like a data
format ( gRPC with protoBuf) carried close to sysrepo bgp data
exchanges ( using protobuf) could be used to exchange with routing
Because that path would bypass netopeer and sysrepo, while keeping a
data format close to what is done with netconf ( though not all would
be possible), retrieving prefix entries ( and why not configuration
too) could be optimised. Here too, that path has to be confirmed.
Which technology could suit well with FRR (also from licensing point
of view..).


[0] https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/194vUFaWxmhfTpHyANHsP66Ffw0BQuJ9sI0ir2jrXyXo/edit#slide=id.g4538793aa3_0_0
[1] https://github.com/opensourcerouting/frr/wiki/Architecture
On Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 1:59 PM anzal <mohammedanz at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi
> @Renato Westphal "https://github.com/opensourcerouting/frr/wiki/Architecture"
> Can this not be used to manage, configure and get updates from the FRR routing daemons by an external NETCONF device, say an SDN controller ?
> Like ODL has a south bound Netconf - https://docs.opendaylight.org/en/stable-oxygen/user-guide/netconf-user-guide.html
> So by using this I think ODL would be able to configure and get prefix updates from the signalling daemons in FRR. Correct me if I am wrong here.
> Thanks
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