Open Networking Foundation Turns One
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Until 2011, OpenFlow and SDN in general was still a relatively loosely organized effort in the market, but that changed with the formation of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). In 2011,the ONF took over the standardization effort for OpenFlow from Stanford University where it originally began.
"Over the last year, we formed our structure and working groups and we've issued an update to the OpenFlow standard," Dan Pitt, Executive director, of the Open Networking Foundation, told InternetNews.com. "We've had plugfests and we have a big effort to promote commercialization through interoperability testing."
Pitt noted that the ONF now has 65 member companies that are part of the foundation. Market education has been another key focus for the ONF over the last year. Understanding what the value of SDNs and OpenFlow in particular can enable is a message that the ONF is eager to share.
"The real value lies in the software constructs above the OpenFlow protocol," Pitt explained. "Where you take policy, business objectives, security and compliance and you translate that into routing and access control mechanisms for the network, that are conveyed by the OpenFlow protocol."
As to why people have been interested in OpenFlow so far, Pitt noted that network operators are looking to tie the network closer to the overall IT infrastructure, so it can be virtualized just like servers and storage have been.
"IT in the enterprise has been an unavoidable cost center, so enterprises are looking to make the network a more strategic asset," Pitt said.