Open Networking Foundation Formed

Mar 22, 2011

“Stronger definition of network behavior in software is a growing trend, and open interfaces are going to lead to faster innovation,” said Nick McKeown, ONF Board member and professor at Stanford University.

Seeking to accelerate network innovation, Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, and Yahoo, announce the formation of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a nonprofit organization promoting Software-Defined Networking (SDN).

Other members of ONF include Broadcom, Brocade, Ciena, Cisco, Citrix, Dell, Ericsson, Force10, HP, IBM, Juniper Networks, Marvell, NEC, Netgear, NTT, Riverbed Technology and VMware. These companies join the six founding board members to promote the SND approach to networking.

According to ONF faster networking innovation is needed and it believes SDN will enable innovation in all kinds of networks which includes, but not is not necessarily limited to data centers, wide area telecommunication networks, wireless networks, enterprises and more. By using SDN the ONF believes this can be accomplished with what it considers to be simply software changes which should give network owners and operators more and better control over their networks.

A six-year research collaboration between Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley resulted in this SND approach to networking. The main components of SND include a software interface (called OpenFlow) and a set of global management interfaces.

According to ONF one of its goal will be will be to adopt and lead the ongoing development of the OpenFlow standard followed by encouraging greater adoption by its member companies from there, defining global management interfaces will begin after these initial goals have been met.

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