Open vSwitch finds new home at the Linux Foundation

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The developers of open source virtual networking technology Open vSwitch (OVS) said this week they will move future development to the Linux Foundation Project.

The move releases Open vSwitch, which usually runs on hypervisors, up to a greater number of developers who can use it to further develop tools and applications for the virtual networking world. OVS works on a wide variety of systems, including Linux, DPDK, Hyper-V, and FreeBSD. The technology is used in a variety of Software Defined Networking applications, including NFV and network virtualization and it is the most widely used networking back-end in OpenStack, the foundation said.

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“Open vSwitch enables developers to easily connect and move between separate cloud environments. Joining the Linux Foundation will open Open vSwitch up to a greater number of developers who can use it to help integrate data and tools across different cloud platforms, and thus more easily hasten cloud migration and adoption. By retaining the lightweight governance model the OVS project has used since it began, the project will continue to operate the same from a technical governance perspective, said Kyle Mestery, distinguished engineer and director of open source networking for IBM. “The move to the Linux Foundation is a testament to how popular and robust Open vSwitch has grown.”

Current contributions to OVS span more than 300 individuals across companies including Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, HP, IBM, Intel, Red Hat and VMware, according to the Linux Foundation.

Though the moves were not related, the OpenSwitch Project recently came under Linux Foundation auspices -- the first full feature network operating system project of the group.

The move gives OpenSwitch as well as Open vSwitch now, a neutral home where it can receive all the necessary support for long-term growth and sustainability – including back-office, technical infrastructure and ecosystem development services.

While the Linux Foundation hosts other projects in the networking arena, the addition of OpenSwitch makes available a complete NOS offering, from the ASIC drivers to the APIs, that will run on reference hardware and in hypervisors, the Linux Foundation said.

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IBM’s Mestery added that the two technologies are intertwined: ”Open vSwitch is a virtual switch, which typically runs on hypervisors. OpenSwitch is a network operating system which runs on switch hardware, typically top-of-rack switches. OpenSwitch integrates Open vSwitch as a part of its NOS, for instance when you use the HW-VTEP schema to create gateways between tunnel networks and VLAN networks on OpenSwitch switches.”

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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