Run from Daylight

Dell went to OMG for SDN standards work after considering Cisco, IBM's Project Daylight, the precursor to OpenDaylight

Once word started to spread among the vendor community about Cisco and IBM's Project Daylight SDN initiative -- the precursor to the Linux Foundation's OpenDaylight project -- Dell decided to initiate its own SDN standards effort within the Object Management Group.  That effort, an SDN working committee within the OMG, now has about 20 other participants, said Tom Burns, vice president and general manager of Dell Networking.

Project Daylight and OpenDaylight were formed by Cisco and IBM to define an open source framework for SDNs. Its members include other computer, software and networking vendors, and skeptics believe the group may have other objectives - such as coronating a particular vendor's or vendors' proprietary technology as standard - than defining a framework through an open, merit-based and transparent process.  

Both Dell and the OMG emphasized the  "meritocratic" and "open" process of attempting to define an SDN standard in the OMG when they announced the working committee development.

"We joined with OMG after considering Daylight," Burns said the week of the Open Networking Summit SDN conference in Santa Clara, CA. "We moved forward because of our specific concerns with Daylight" around its governance and management.

Dell is a Silver member of OpenDaylight and is also a member of the Open Networking Foundation, a user-initiated SDN standards body proposing OpenFlow as the foundation of SDNs.

 "We are a participant and an observer" as a Silver member of OpenDaylight, Burns said. Platinum member Big Switch Networks is also observing the OpenDaylight process as much as participating in it to ensure it lives up to the spirit and principles of open source projects.

Burns says OpenDaylight has a "better chance" of being an open and transparent process under the auspices of the Linux Foundation. But if things turn the other way, Dell will double down on its work within the OMG.

"We're using the channel of the OMG if we feel OpenDaylight is not in the best interests of customers," Burns said, such as if the group pushes Cisco's onePK programmable networking API set as a standard.

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