Suspicions dashed, Dell cozies up to OpenDaylight

Meanwhile, little progress evident in Dell's OMG SDN working committee

Dell has upped its participation in the OpenDaylight Project from Silver to Platinum, the highest and most expensive tier in the open source SDN consortium, after initially being suspicious of the effort. Dell, as you’ll recall, went off and started its own SDN working committee within the Object Management Group after having misgivings about how open and meritocratic OpenDaylight would be given its gestation within the wombs of Cisco and IBM.

Dell has apparently had a change of heart. From a company spokesperson:

Since coming under the Linux Foundation, ODL has taken a balanced approach toward the cause of open standards and open source, which is the basis of Dell's open networking strategy. We are also a founding member of its OPNFV initiative that is being worked in a similar set up for the common of the industry versus a vendor.

Interestingly, we haven’t seen nor heard of any progress in the OMG SDN working committee or working group since Dell announced its formation over 18 months ago. There are a couple of 2013 press releases on the OMG website announcing meetings, RFPs and RFIs, and plans to complete SDN standards by the end of 2013; but the only SDN press release from OMG in 2014 is to announce a September summit on SDN “Challenges, Opportunities and Outlook.”

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Comparatively, OpenDaylight pumps out an SDN press release a month.

The Dell spokesperson assures us that the OMG SDN working group is indeed hard at work:

Our work with OMG has been primarily focused on the northbound interface, having recently issued and RFI and received multiple inputs.

We see the organizations as being highly complementary. ODL is an ideal implementation vehicle for what’s being worked in the OMG SDN working group.

ODL and the Open Networking Foundation are also working towards a northbound API but they are much more proactive in communicating the progress of their work.

In the meantime, Dell binds itself tightly to ODL. Subi Krishnamurthy, executive director and CTO, Dell Networking, will join OpenDaylight’s board of directors, and Mohnish Anumala, Dell distinguished engineer, will join OpenDaylight’s Technical Steering Committee. As part of its Platinum membership, Dell is dedicating additional employee resources to OpenDaylight.

And this statement from Arpit Joshipura, vice president of product management and strategy, Dell Networking, in the OpenDaylight press release:

“We’ve chosen OpenDaylight as our primary orchestration platform for creating enterprise-ready SDN solutions and fulfilling the promise of SDN to our customers.”

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