ONF Launches Resources To Prod Enterprise Adoption of SDN

Expressing some impatience with the enterprise adoption of open source software-defined networking (SDN) technologies, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) industry consortium announced a new related open source software community and accompanying code repository.

The ONF, charged with advancing new-age SDN and related technologies, announced Open Source SDN, described as "a community for developers and operators of open SDN solutions." Although sparse at the beginning, it features articles such as "Segment Routing SDN" and "A Simple Networking Tapping Application you can Install," along with a list of projects, SDN links, a community site, a blog and other SDN-related resources

"This new site will be a resource for those looking to commercially deploy open SDN solutions, free from vendor lock-in," the ONF said in an announcement.

Overseeing the site is a new Software Leadership Council (SLC) with representatives from organization members such as Cisco Systems Inc., VMware Inc., Big Switch Networks and several others. The SLC will guide the ONF's efforts in open software projects and community development.

"If you take a look around the site (and we are adding to it every day), you will find lots of general information, news, links, and our Open Source SDN Groups community environment, where you can spin up new groups, sign up for mailing lists, engage in existing projects, and make something happen," said SLC chairman Stuart Bailey of Infoblox in a blog post today. "Education, training, events, calendars, the whole buzz is coming soon. And it's all free to join -- no ONF membership required."

Formed in 2011 by industry players Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, and Yahoo, the nonprofit ONF now has more than 140 members dedicated to furthering adoption of SDN.

The announcement came shortly after Cisco reported good quarterly financial numbers buoyed by strong performance of its non-open SDN alternative, Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). Cisco, which is involved in the ONF and other open SDN efforts, but which also backs its own ACI offering as being "better than SDN," said it will "have fun" beating SDN competitors, naming VMware explicitly.

Perhaps in response to this and other industry developments, Bailey seemed to express impatience with open SDN efforts.

"It's about time for our SDN movement to evolve to the next level, to start cashing in on the promise of SDN," Bailey said. "We have made progress, but SDN is still too challenging for mainstream network operators who don't have 20 hours a week to make things work. We need integrated solutions, stacks of software that can be downloaded and deployed, and helpful open source SDN community gurus to help folks out (think 'SDN Stack Overflow'). We need to get serious, make time, get engaged, get moving, spread the word, and make a difference."

Or, as the new SDN site's very first blog post -- dated Feb. 12 -- offers in a song chorus to be sung to the tune of The Who's "Join Together:"

We are going to have fun.
We are going to make mistakes.
We are going to learn a ton.
We are going to change the SDN world.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.