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OpenFlow Moves Forward with 1.3.0 Protocol Specification

OpenFlow 1.3.0 introduces new features that enable network administrators to have more control over their network deployments. The new specification is also important as it is likely to become the stable base upon which future commercial implementations for OpenFlow will be built.

Dan Pitt, executive chairman of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) told Enterprise Networking Planet that the OpenFlow 1.2 specification was the first release from the ONF after inheriting the project from Stanford University. The ONF recently celebrated its first anniversary as the new home for moving OpenFlow forward.

"The OpenFlow 1.0 specification was widely implemented in its base form and 1.1 was not widely implemented," Pitt noted. "In 1.3.0, we have added some essential features including IPv6, quality of service and we've added tunneling support."

With the IPv6 support in OpenFlow 1.3.0, implementers can now take full advantage of SDN in IPv6 environments. Currently the majority of the world's traffic flows over IPv4, though that is expected to change over time as carriers and enterprises adopt IPv6.

OpenFlow 1.3.0 also provides support for provider backbone bridging, which enables tunneling across datacenters.

"We're finding that people are using OpenFlow as a wrapper over existing networks, so the tunneling support is important," Pitt said.