ONF preaches openness, welcomes start-ups as it outlines 2014 plans


The success of SDN will rely on how open it is, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has said, as it outlined its plans to further standardisation and growth of the technology.

The ONF unveiled a three-point plan for the next year, with the foundation seeking to further the rollout of open SDN through technical standards, APIs, and work with vendors. 

It wants to improve its OpenFlow standard through conformance testing, developer events and open-source projects. Finally, it plans to connect users with SDN through carrier-focused working groups.

For the first time, the ONF will hold one of its developer "Plugfests" outside of the United States. The event will be hosted at the Indiana Centre for Translational Research and Education and the Beijing Internet Institute from 12-16 May. 

It has also cut the cost of membership fees for start-ups companies in a bid to further work in the area.

The foundation added that it wanted to build upon existing relationships to further the spread of the technology. ONF already works with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the Open Compute Project, the Open Data Centre Alliance (ODCA), the OpenDaylight Project, OpenStack, the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF), and TM Forum.

Rick Bauer, Technical Program Manager of ONF, said: "ONF fosters interoperability by creating and stewarding open, vendor-neutral standards. Openness is going to be the determining factor in encouraging widespread adoption of SDN in the marketplace, and through our work, we hope to make SDN implementation as straightforward for end users as possible so they can begin experiencing the benefits quickly and seamlessly."

The foundation recently launched an open-source network tapping application to serve as an educational reference for programmers. It said it would continue to produce more apps to help operators garner greater experience in using OpenFlow.

Dan Pitt, Executive Director of the Open Networking Foundation, said: "Whether it is through taking real use cases to motivate our technical specifications, opening up organisation membership, or providing valuable information to ensure successful SDN adoption, 2014 is about real, vendor neutral SDN solutions for end users."