OpenFlow® Conformance Testing Program

OpenFlow® Conformance Testing Program

Conformance Testing Program Overview

ONF OpenFlow® Conformance Testing Program

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) OpenFlow® Conformance Testing Program gives networking vendors an opportunity to demonstrate compliance with the OpenFlow® specification. The OpenFlow® specification is the first Software-Defined Networking (SDN) standard and a vital element of an open software-defined network architecture.

labAll conformance testing is performed by independent, accredited testing labs around the world, providing both impartial validation and ONF endorsement. Companies with products that conform to the OpenFlow® specification introduce a powerful brand into the market, affirming an organizational commitment to the OpenFlow® specification. By earning a certificate of conformance, vendors can gain a higher level of trust and recognition from increasingly thoughtful networking customers. Today’s customers want to ensure that purchases are deployment-ready for their networking environments and future-looking for compatibility with the increasing number of SDN solutions built on the OpenFlow® specification.

What ONF OpenFlow® Conformance Means

An ONF OpenFlow® Conformance certification is the highest level of assurance available in the market today to validate product conformance with a specific version of the OpenFlow® specification. Vendors can earn an ONF Certificate of Conformance for networking hardware such as switches and routers, as well as network software.

OpenFlow® Conformance Testing Program Benefits

An ONF Certificate of Conformance gives vendors a significant competitive advantage by inspiring customer confidence. Customers know that they are purchasing current technology that is guaranteed to accurately implement a particular version of OpenFlow, which is the only globally acknowledged specification for Software-Defined Networking (SDN). Customers are also eager to work with vendors that are ONF members. They understand that ONF member vendors are collaborating with companies around the world to bring open networking solutions to market, and are in the vanguard of innovation in software-defined networking development and solutions. The benefits are compelling:

  • Affiliation with the leading independent organization sponsoring open SDN solutions powered by the OpenFlow® specification
  • Shortened development cycles, faster product deployment, and advance access to testing protocols through activities such as the ONF PlugFest program
  • Customer trust that products will conform to the leading global specification empowering SDN
  • A globally-recognized logo that can be used on products, websites, and other marketing collateral


Program Entitlements

openflow-certified-smVendors that earn an ONF Certificate of Conformance gain the right to use the globally-recognized ONF OpenFlow® Conformance Testing Program logo for their compliant products and website. The logo identifies the version of the OpenFlow® specification to which the product conforms. It can be used on physical products, software documentation, websites, and marketing material, as described in the ONF trademark and logo guidelines. Vendors that earn Certificates of Conformance are also listed on the ONF website, providing an additional competitive advantage.

Available Certificates

Available ONF OpenFlow® Conformance Designation Types

ONF offers OpenFlow® Switch Specification 1.0.1 Certificates of Conformance for Full Conformance, Layer 3 Conformance, and Layer 2 Conformance. Vendors have three certification options because support of some applications does not require the use of all 12 match fields described in the OpenFlow® Switch Specification 1.0.0 (Errata 1.0.1). To allow support of “specialized” devices designed to support only a specific subset of functions, three profiles were defined to specify required match fields to support the most common applications.

Please refer to the OpenFlow® Test Specification for more detailed information on test cases and profile requirements. Specific test requirements and costs for each certificate are available from the test lab.


The ONF OpenFlow® Conformance Process

Obtaining an ONF Certificate of Conformance is a straightforward process for vendors. Vendors simply contact an approved test lab, complete an application form, and work with the lab to define a mutually-agreeable schedule for product delivery.

When the lab certifies that the product specified in the application meets the ONF OpenFlow® Conformance Test Specification requirements, the ONF will approve the awarding of an ONF OpenFlow® Certificate of Conformance. ONF will in turn list the product and vendor in the appropriate website directories and provide the appropriate logos for authorized use by the vendor.


1. Join ONF. Become an ONF member and join the ONF Testing & Interoperability Working Group.

2. Develop Your Product. Develop your product and participate in annual plugfests to rapidly advance your development efforts.

3. Contract with an ONF-Approved Testing Lab. All contracts for testing are arranged privately between your company and the lab.

4. Work with Your Lab. Your testing lab will design a custom schedule around your needs and conduct a certified conformance test when your product is ready.

5. Congratulations! Once your product has passed, you can use the conformance logo on your products. Your products will also be posted on the ONF website. Let your customers know that your products have that extra level of trust.

Authorized Test Labs

ONF Authorized Conformance Testing Labs: Trusted Partners for Your Products

Additional labs are in the accreditation process, and will be listed as authorized testing labs in the near future.

Beijing Internet Institute (BII)
incntre-logoONF has selected Beijing Internet Institute (BII) as its first international certified conformance testing lab in Asia. BII is an independent, private company with a keen interest in promoting the development of the Next Generation Internet: IPv6 and SDN, focusing on Technology Research, Promotion, Testing & Certification to support a secure, stable, extensible and interoperable Internet. The certified testing lab establishes conformance testing in China and provides SDN technical testing services to global clients. BII’s testing lab in China evaluates vendors’ networking products for interoperability, conformance, function, and performance. The company will expand its evaluation services by partnering with ONF to test SDN and OpenFlow® conformance. The lab will also offer organizations the opportunity to receive OpenFlow® certification of their products.

Criterion Network Labs
Bangalore, India

incntre-logoONF has selected Criterion Network Labs (CNLabs) as the first certified conformance testing lab in India. CNLabs, an independent division of Criterion Networks India Pvt. Ltd, is a network interoperability lab dedicated for testing emerging networking products, technologies and solutions. The current offerings of CNLabs include conformance, performance and interoperability testing services for IPv6 and SDN enabled network products, protocols and technology solutions.

As an ONF-accredited testing facility, CNLabs establishes OpenFlow® conformance testing capabilities in India and provides SDN testing services to global clients. Vendors can engage CNLabs to evaluate their networking products for conformance, performance, and interoperability and receive OpenFlow® certification through ONF’s Conformance Testing Program.

Indiana Center for Network Translational Research and Education (InCNTRE)

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

incntre-logoONF has selected Indiana Center for Network Translational Research and Education (InCNTRE) as the first independent lab approved for ONF OpenFlow® Conformance Testing. As part of Indiana University (IU), InCNTRE is a hub of education, research, training, and development for the adoption of the OpenFlow® specification and other standards-based Software-Defined Networking (SDN) technologies. Through initiatives such as the SDN Interoperability Lab, the Summer of Networking internship program, and networking research collaborations, InCNTRE has developed resources that will accelerate the next generation of networking. InCNTRE has long been a part of the SDN ecosystem, and is delighted to be accepted as ONF’s first authorized OpenFlow® Conformance Testing program.

Network Benchmarking Lab (NBL) at National Chiao Tung University
nblNBL (Network Benchmarking Lab), hosted by National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan as a test service and tool provider, is a third-party laboratory dedicated to functionality, conformance, interoperability, performance, and stability testing on switch/router, security, wireless, and VoIP products.  In addition to common test methodologies and tools, NBL utilizes campus real traffic for live and replay testing and a generic test framework for automatic script-based testing.  Through industrial and academic collaboration, NBL now offers conformance, robustness, and interoperability test services and tools for SDN-enabled appliances and applications to global clients.

Telecommunication Technology Labs (CTTL) hosted by China Academy of Telecommunication Research of MIIT (CATR)
Beijing, China

CTTL-LogoONF welcomes Telecommunication Technology Labs (CTTL) hosted by China Academy of Telecommunication Research of MIIT to the family of certified conformance testing labs.  CTTL, founded in 1981, has labs in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Chongqing and is focused on research & development of technology, standards and test methods for telecommunication network equipment.  In addition, CTTL provides a variety of services including products inspection, test & verification, metrologyy for test instruments and evaluation of communication software.  We provide comprehensive services and support to government departments, network operators, product designers and manufacturers.  CTTL has established its quality system according to the ISO/IEC 17025 and achieved successful accreditation certificates from China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS) and foreign accreditation bodies (e.g. DakkS, Germany).  CTTL also offers equipment testing & inspection services as well as calibration & metrology services for manufacturers of measuring instruments.

University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL)
Durham, New Hampshire, USA
ONF has selected University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL) as a certified conformance testing lab. The UNH-IOL is a neutral, third-party laboratory dedicated to testing data networking technologies through industry collaboration.


Photos from the October 10, 2013 award presentation:

incntre-ron-milfordONF Technical Program Manager, Rick Bauer, presenting Ron Milford of InCNTRE with a plaque recognizing InCNTRE as ONF-Accredited Conformance Testing Lab




bii-li-zhenONF Technical Program Manager, Rick Bauer, presenting Mr. Li Zhen, Director of Testing for Beijing Internet Institute (BII) with a plaque recognizing BII as ONF-Accredited Conformance Testing Lab




iol-erica-johnsonONF Technical Program Manager, Rick Bauer, presenting Erica Johnson of IOL with a plaque recognizing UNH-IOL as ONF-Accredited Conformance Testing Lab




nec-don-clarkDan Pitt presenting Don Clark of NEC with a plaque recongizing NEC as the first company in the world to receive a Certificate of Conformance in OpenFlow




nec-don-clark-fabian-schneiderDan Pitt (ONF), Don Clark (NEC), and Fabian Schneider (NEC) presenting NEC Corporation with a certificate and plaque recognizing NEC as the first company in the world to receive a Certificate of Conformance in OpenFlow.




Beijing Global SDN Technology Conference, May 2014

conformance-chen-xiang-dcnDan Pitt presenting a Certificate of Conformance to the OpenFlow® 1.0 Specification to Mr. Chen Xiang of DCN Digital China Networks Ltd