Wednesday, April 17, 2013

ONF Outlines Technical Roadmap for OpenFlow

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) outlined its technical roadmap to drive the commercialization of open, standards-based SDN.

The ONF said its emphasis in the coming year will be on "building the OpenFlow substrate to meet market needs, including standard approaches to configuration, management, security, and transport. In addition to providing the foundation on which SDN value is built, the OpenFlow substrate supports the virtualization of many network functions. Thus ONF will continue to work closely with the ETSI network-operator-led Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Industry Specification Group (ISG).

Key elements of the 2013 roadmap include:

  • Evolution of the OpenFlow protocol to version 1.4
  • Prototyping of new features before they are built into standards documentation to ensure that they meet end-user needs
  • Certifying products built on OpenFlow 1.0 through OpenFlow 1.3 through a formal certification program; sanctioning independent labs for testing
  • Embarking on Operations, Administration and Maintenance (OAM)
  • Fostering a supply chain for physical OpenFlow switches by developing table typing patterns in the Forwarding Abstractions Working Group and convening a chipmaker advisory board that will encourage OpenFlow support in Ethernet chips
  • Introducing the Migration Working Group to make recommendations on guidelines, systems, tools, and metrics for migrating to an OpenFlow network.
  • Introducing the Optical Transport Working Group, a group driven by telecommunications providers and focused on optical WANs and the interconnection between services that network operators offer and cloud companies provide with an emphasis on quality of service (QoS).
  • Adding nine new thought leaders to the Research Associates roster, bring the total to twelve. Research Associates are selected for participation privileges in ONF based on their contributions to the creation and advancement of SDN and the OpenFlow protocol. 

The ONF has appointed Rick Bauer to the position of technical program manager to oversee the technical roadmap.

“Rapid SDN adoption requires practical solutions,” said Dan Pitt, executive director of ONF. “We’re committed to serving as a networking consumer advocate, representing the needs of global SDN users by providing standardized approaches that promote competition and best-of-breed solutions. This allows users to achieve maximum organizational impact by innovating and governing the operation of their networks according to their own business objectives, through software that they control.”