OpenBox is a framework that effectively decouples the control plane of NFs from their data plane. Similarly to SDN solutions that address only the network’s forwarding plane (e.g., switching, routing), OpenBox provides a framework for network-wide deployment and management of NFs.


OpenBox consists of three logic components. First, user-defined OpenBox Applications provide NF specifications through OpenBox north-bound APIs. Second, a logically-centralized OpenBox Controller is able to merge logic of multiple NFs, possibly from multiple tenants, and to use a network-wide view to efficiently deploy and scale NFs across the network data plane. Finally, OpenBox Instances constitute OpenBox’s data plane and are implemented either purely in software or contain specific hardware support.


Our prototype implementation of the OpenBox framework is available and is open-source.

For further information please contact Yotam Harchol



  More Information  


A Software-Defined Framework
for Network Functions and NFV

(Alphabetically ordered)

Anat Bremler-Barr

Roy Franco

Yotam Harchol

David Hay

Pavel Lazar

Dan Shmidt



Academic papers on OpenBox:


Anat Bremler-Barr, Yotam Harchol, David Hay. "OpenBox: A Software-Defined Framework for Developing, Deploying and Managing Network Functions". Accepted to ACM SIGCOMM, Florianapolis, Brazil. 2016.


Anat Bremler-Barr, Yotam Harchol, David Hay. "OpenBox: Enabling Innovation in Network Functions". ACM SIGCOMM HotMiddleboxes, London, UK. 2015.

  • github

© 2016 Yotam Harchol

This project is supported by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC Grant agreement no 259085.

The OpenBox Protocol Specification

This document specifies the OpenBox protocol

OpenBox Service Instance Documentation

A detailed documentation of our OpenBox service instance implementation

Read the Paper

Our SIGCOMM 2016 paper describes the OpenBox framework.

See the Slides

We will soon upload our slides for the OpenBox framework.

Play with OpenBox

Read how to get the code, install and run it. We've got a script that installs the entire framework on a mininet VM, so you could easily play with it.

The Moonlight Controller Documentation

A detailed documentation of our OpenBox Controller implementation

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