SDN groups shack-up to promote standards, open software development

Open Networking Foundation and ON.Lab merge, promise to continue developing core open SDN projects

guru parulkar

Software Defined Networking standard bearer the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and ON.Lab have merged with designs on further pushing SDN benchmarks and open source software development of the technology.

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According to the groups, the merger will create a single organization under the ONF name. Joint operations will begin immediately, and will be led by ON.Lab founder and executive director, Guru Parulkar. Dan Pitt, an SDN, OpenFlow protocol proponent, left the ONF executive director position recently and ONF technical director Rick Bauer is currently listed as interim executive director but will now serve as ONF’s head of standards. ONF will be governed by an interim board of directors through the end of 2017.

The amalgamation of Open Networking Foundation and ON.Lab is expected to be completed in late 2017. Until then, the organizations will maintain the integrity of both organizations and separate but closely affiliated operations, the groups said. The organizations will bring together the operations, membership, budget and employees of both bodies, including ONF’s 110 member companies and ON.Lab’s group of more than 70 companies and 17 partners. Companies such as Google, Cisco, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Verizon, AT&, Deutsche Telekom and NTT Communications are but a few of the companies involved in one or both of the outfits.

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“Over the last few years, it has become clear that SDN standards and open source software development must come together. Open source is critical to SDN deployment,” said Parulkar. “We believe that standards based on widely adopted open source projects such as ODL, ONOS, OPNFV, and CORD can be more widely and easily implemented within the industry. This emphasis on open source, supported by ON.Lab’s successful software development, will guide ONF’s ongoing standards work, including updates to OpenFlow.”

The ONF will continue advancing ONOS, the and the Central open source projects, which are led by ON.Lab and The Linux Foundation. The organization will also work with other open source projects such as OpenDaylight and the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) to ensure that future ONF standards, including ongoing updates to OpenFlow, are derived from a consensus among these open source developer communities, the groups stated.

“We see a lot of value in combining the best of ONF and ON.Lab. To continue driving adoption of SDN, we need both high-quality open source software for the necessary but non-differentiating infrastructure as well as open standards and APIs. This will allow us to quickly create and deploy innovative new services above and to control standard hardware below. A unified organization enables software to inform new standards and help drive much faster adoption of SDN.” said Andre Fuetsch, ONF Board member and president of AT&T Labs and Chief Technology Officer of AT&T in a statement.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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