The State of OpenFlow

Timon Sloane recaps SDxCentral’s special report on the state of OpenFlow and SDN.  

Over the last seven years, OpenFlow has proved to be a catalyst in driving the widespread adoption of SDN. In my (relatively new) role as Vice President of Standards and Membership for ONF, I oversee standards development including the work with OpenFlow.  As it turns out, I’ve joined the ONF just as a new report from on OpenFlow is being released by SDxCentral.  This gives us a timely outside assessment of the market situation for OpenFlow just as we are analyzing and making plans on the merger of ONF and ON.Labs.  We need a holistic view of the current state of OpenFlow, so the timing could not have been better.

SDxCentral’s report “OpenFlow and SDN – State of the Union” published today and provides great background on the protocol, its inception, version updates, and adoption of the technology within vendor products. The report also takes into account first-hand perspectives from network operators who highlight the strengths of SDN and OpenFlow-based solutions which include:

  • Simpler network design and troubleshooting, which can also lower operational costs
  • Service agility and the capability to add features faster and allow independent innovation without changes to the hardware
  • Lower costs for both hardware and support via hardware/support disaggregation

Service providers, too, are still attracted to OpenFlow for its separation of the control and forwarding plane, flexibility, and cost savings. To help illustrate the support for OpenFlow, the report includes real-world use cases from service provider and enterprise networks. These type of examples showing SDN and OpenFlow in action are an important part of the OpenFlow path-forward discussions taking place across the community.

Under the new ONF structure, we have the opportunity to improve OpenFlow for scalability, flexibility and interoperability. We are embarking on a journey to bring standards and open source projects together to accelerate time-to-market while maximizing the impact we have on the marketplace. This work to evolve and enhance OpenFlow will help to fuel and grow this healthy and vibrant ecosystem.

I encourage you to download the report and read the perspective from SDxCentral here and share with us your thoughts on the report in the comments section below. We look forward to continuing to advance the OpenFlow protocol and working with the ONF membership in these efforts.

- Timon Sloane, Vice President of Standards and Membership

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The Linux Foundation
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