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A Look Back and Look Ahead

Apr 18, 2012

This week, the Open Networking Foundation has many things to celebrate. We announced multiple commercial deployments of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) based on the OpenFlow® networking standard yesterday, and since Monday, more than 20 organizations and 800 individuals have united to demonstrate and learn about OpenFlow® and SDN capabilities at the Open Networking Summit. To accompany both of these exciting occurrences, the ONF is also celebrating its one-year anniversary since public launch.

I can honestly say that it has been a whirlwind year. The networking revolution, from SDN in general to OpenFlow® in particular, has been embraced by the industry far faster than any of us imagined. Since the Foundation’s launch, we have worked with our member companies to make OpenFlow-based SDN the new norm for networks. We have engaged the world’s leading networking innovators and fostered industry implementation of SDN. Here are some of the highlights of key milestones the Foundation has reached in the past year:

  • Taken over the development of the OpenFlow® protocol from its academic origins and moved it forward
  • Organized multiple committees, working groups, and discussion groups to help hammer out technical details and articulate user benefits
  • Issued new versions of OpenFlow® and OF-Config protocol standards
  • Held prototype demonstrations, interoperability experiments, and plug fests
  • Tripled our size to more than 60 member companies
  • Brought the enterprise community into ONF membership

We’ve made significant headway in commercializing SDN and OpenFlow® as a disruptive approach to networking. For example, commercial deployments of OpenFlow® products by member company NEC have been installed at Genesis Hosting Solutions and Nippon Express Co., LTD. In addition, Tervela and Selerity have chosen IBM and NEC's enterprise-class OpenFlow® solution. These customers are seeing first-hand the benefits of OpenFlow® from improved productivity, cost efficiency, and new avenues of growth and revenue. I expect to see such announcements accelerate throughout 2012.

Over the next year, the market will see that SDN can change how virtually every company with a network operates and that SDN is capable of driving tremendous business value. I am thrilled to be a part of this exhilarating time in networking and technology, and can hardly wait for the news I will impart in my blog post a year from now.

--Dan Pitt

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Dan Pitt