In October 2015, ONF’s Open Transport Working Group completed the industry’s first multi-vendor Wireless Transport SDN Proof of Concept (PoC). The PoC was designed to encourage the development, testing, and implementation of open SDN for Wireless Transport and to demonstrate multi-layer optimization on an open SDN infrastructure. Less than two years later, the fourth PoC has just been successfully completed. Continue reading

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As we complete the merger of ON.Lab and ONF, we are contemplating a reworked membership structure to suit the needs of all members of our community.  We’d like your feedback on what we are considering.

The CORD and ONOS projects have had a membership structure that recognizes collaborating organizations and a select number of partners that have provided financial support, technical contributions and valuable guidance and steering.  The legacy ONF has had a much broader membership base, with financial support and contributions coming from all members of the organization in a more uniform way.

With the merger, there is a need to combine these two membership structures and we wanted to share our thoughts about how this can be done.  As you’ll see, in addition to combining structures we’ve also added a new membership level that will help us better recognize and support contributing organizations.

Proposal for new Membership Structure

The proposed new membership structure is outlined below.  Let’s start by comparing the levels.  This first graphic puts the different membership levels in context and show how they are arranged according to the commitment of an organization’s time and skills and/or financial commitment.  It also shows how organizations can strengthen their commitment over time by progressing upgrading the levels.

Membership tracks
Each membership level comes with a number of specific benefits.  This next chart describes the benefits in an additive way.  That is, as you move down the rows of the chart you are also entitled to all the benefits from the rows above.

Membership new

Each level requires certain commitments from members, typically a combination of financial support, engineering resources and demonstrated contributions to the community.

Membership Fees

To make it easy to understand, we’ll highlight some of the main points.

For Collaborators - we’ve seen tremendous growth. We’re modestly adjusting this level to accommodate our increased size and to optimize our working model. Similar to how things are today, if an organization wants to contribute their time and skills (minimum of the equivalent of 1 full-time engineer (FTE)), but not make a financial contribution, we welcome them as collaborators and want to do our part to make them productive members of the ecosystem. There will, however, be some changes:

  • In the past, TST approval on a project proposal was sufficient to achieve Collaborator status.  Rather than up front approval, a demonstrated deliverable would now be the measure for gaining access to this class of membership.
  • Because the core development team has limits on their time, we can’t guarantee that collaborators will receive a certain level of support beyond what they can find from community resources (wiki, mailing list, Slack, etc).
  • Similarly because we have limits on our marketing resources (and marketing is expensive) we are moving marketing benefits into the paid tiers of membership.

We believe there would still be great value in being a Collaborator.  By contributing to our projects, Collaborators can continue to influence the direction of our efforts and merge in features and capabilities beneficial to their goals. And as before, if organizations stop contributing, their Collaborator status can be lost due to inactivity.

For Innovators (default entry point for legacy ONF members):
We’ve split this tier into two to reflect the type of contributions organizations are interested in making.  Some organizations want to support us financially but don’t have the ability to contribute significant time and skills.  The revised Innovator tier recognizes these organizations and tries to minimize barriers to entry by offering a revised fee structure based on a sliding scale according to company size, with the lowest level being $1500 a year for the smallest organizations.

For Collaborating Innovators: 
We want to recognize those organizations that are able to contribute both financially and with time and skills.  We’ve also provided a host of new benefits and engagement opportunities to encourage more organizations to consider this option, including a chance to run for an at-large board seat, a dedicated mentor who will provide technical support/steering and new marketing and branding opportunities.

Innovators who have demonstrated a commitment to our work (with a minimum of one named FTE dedicated to working with us) and who have a record of providing significant contributions can petition to be upgraded to this category.

For Partners: 
This level remains as it has been. Partners have a shared vision and mission with the ONF and are looking for very close alignment around strategy, execution and support.  They make significant financial and resource contributions to help us drive our shared agenda forward. And of course they derive the greatest benefits in terms of ability to:

  • Steer and influence the entire ecosystem,
  • Leverage the open source platforms and solutions for transforming their businesses, and
  • Transform their workforce and culture through active engagement in our work.

And lastly, the sliding scale.  We are contemplating adjusting membership fees for the Innovator and Collaborating Innovator tiers to ensure the financial burden is more reasonably sized to an organization’s ability to support our shared mission.  In the past, the legacy ONF had a single tier as well as ‘startup memberships’ that were only available to companies under four years of age.  Recognizing that not all companies grow at the same rate, and that there are valuable members of our community that may never grow large (like consulting companies), we’re contemplating completely revamping the financial tiers based on company revenue.


We are very interested in your thoughts on this.  Note – this isn’t set in stone yet, so there is still time to provide comments, questions and suggestions for how to make this recognition system work better for all members of our community.  Please send us your thoughts, and when we’ve collected input we’ll update our plans and share a final version.

Thanks for your continued support,

VP Standards & Membership, ONF

Timon at

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The first-ever ONF Bootcamp, held on May 23rd, was a day-long event targeted at business and technology leaders to help newer ecosystem members learn to navigate and benefit from the SDN/NFV/Cloud transformation taking place across the networking industry. The agenda featured keynotes on the Network of the Future by Cathy Southwick from AT&T, and Networking & Orchestration in the Open Source Landscape by Arpit Joshipura from The Linux Foundation.

The day also featured in-depth sessions on the CORD platform and its use cases, along with an overview & roadmap of the ONOS project. The bootcamp was very well-received, with the attendees participating enthusiastically in the interactive sessions that focused on engaging with open source communities.

Presentations from these sessions have been posted online and you can check out videos from this event here.

We are also pleased to announce our second edition of the ONOS build will be held from September 20 – 22 in Seoul, Korea. This three-day event will bring together more than 300 ONOS contributors from across the globe to share, learn and hack together to help take the ONOS project to new heights.

The CORD community will be holding its first-ever developer conference, the CORD Build 2017, from November 7 – 9 in the Bay Area, to help core contributors align behind a common vision and roadmap.

If you’d like to be involved in helping us plan and organize these events, contact Director of Community, David Boswell @

Stay tuned to all ONF news and events by subscribing to the ONF newsletter.

Bootcamp pics 2Clockwise from top left:
Arpit Joshipura from The Linux Foundation presenting Networking & Orchestration in the Open Source Landscape; May Chen of Huawei wrapping up the ONF Bootcamp with an interactive exercise to surface concerns and identify ways to resolve those issues; Many conversations happening about how to get involved at the science fair at the ONF Bootcamp

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The ONF Board had a very productive meeting this week. We had everyone at the meeting in person, and spent 6+ hours covering everything from strategy and structure to execution plans.

External Attendees:

Independent rep:
ONF member-at-large rep:

Andre Fuetsch, Al Blackburn
Urs Holzel, Ankur Jain, Jim Wanderer
Dai Kashiwa
Patricia Chen
Nick McKeown
Fabian Schneider

We started by reviewing and tuning our overall strategy to ensure we were making decisions in the best interest of our overall vision. To summarize for our community, we’ve built our plans based on this vision:

Mission: Help drive transformation of network operator infrastructure and business models by leveraging network disaggregation, white box economics and creating open source platforms and solutions empowered by an open collaboration framework.

Our board endorsed the mission and our overall strategy, with these key tenets:

  • Continue to strengthen and grow our partnership with the service providers as their trusted open source partner.

  • Build credible solutions for the operator based on:

    • Disaggregated networking components
    • Open Source platform(s) for foundational non-differentiating functionality (CORD and ONOS as examples)
  • Invest in a core engineering team to provide architecture shepherding and development (especially for the disruptive platforms and solutions) while enabling open collaboration with the larger community.

  • Build on the open innovation pipeline model, and strategically pick opportunities for creating software defined standards to facilitate broad participation from across the industry.

  • Actively pursue operator commitment to consume and deploy our platforms in order to drive industry adoption and activate a broad supply chain to serve the needs of the operators.

Our service provider partners are seeing success in our model. We are bringing down the cost of infrastructure while simultaneously enabling innovation. Our board confirmed that this approach is working, they are reinforcing our strategy and they are each in their own way taking their commitment to the next level.

Next Generation SDN Control & Configuration Platform

Focus is key to our success. To this end, we discussed synergies between ONOS and ODL and what is best for these communities to ensure we as a holistic ecosystem are not needlessly spending cycles supporting two SDN controller and configuration platforms. Unanimous consensus was reached concluding:

    • The two controllers have distinct use cases and resulting architectures.

    • ONOS investment and commitment will remain central to the ONF mission, especially with a focus on leveraging network disaggregation and white boxes

      • ONOS has found a killer use-case in CORD; CORD makes use of functionality unique to ONOS
      • Beyond CORD, there is a significant community embedding and relying on ONOS (some of this activity is nonpublic), and we will support this community moving forward.
    • At the same time we want to explore what it would take to build a ‘2.0’ SDN control and configuration platform blending the best of both ODL and ONOS. Board recommendations include:

      • Keep this activity small and focused between a limited number of subject matter experts
      • Explore specifically what degree of backwards compatibility is needed considering current and future operator use cases
      • Results of this exploration will be shared openly, and community involvement will be encouraged before making any long term commitments.

CORD for Multi-Access Edge

We discussed the emergence of well defined requirements and exciting deployment opportunities for a multi-access network edge for wired and wireless devices of all types based on CORD principles. The multi-access network edge will include support for the existing and future RANs with xRAN interfaces, support for various GPONs including XGS-PON and G.Fast, and metro carrier Ethernet, and multi-tenant cloud edge services.

We had unanimous consensus to pursue two parallel activities:

1. Demonstrate a CORD-based multi-access edge delivering both functional and performance requirements.
2. Create a functional design and open specification to be shared with the larger community.

These two parallel activities will be reconciled in the coming months once the functional design and specification are finalized.

ONF Review Finalized

The review committee reported on the recommendations for reconciling legacy ONF working groups and OSSDN projects. The board unanimously approved the recommendations. Structurally there are to be 3 primary components:

Work will be restructured into Projects

  • Projects will typically have open source software as their centerpiece, but may also include interface specifications, architecture requirements, model definitions, and so on.


  • Short-term community-based teams focused on demonstrating some high-priority capability that moves the technology closer to adoption

Use Case Steering Team (UCST)

  • An operator lead team, staffed by business owners who shape the definition of what solutions we build

This high level plan was unanimously approved by the board. Details will follow shortly, along with more specifics of the working model so that all the new projects can be jump started without delay.

In Closing

You’ll hear more from us shortly on these various topics, but I just wanted to share with you this high level summary to help put all our activities in context. I’m very pleased with the progress we are making and the impact we are having across the industry. The board confirmed this view, and reasserted their commitment to the important work we are doing.

Thank you for your support and ongoing commitment to our mission,

Guru Parulkar
Executive Director, ONF

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Open Networking Foundation is a community of communities, an umbrella for many software projects advancing open networking. One such project is Mininet, which creates instant virtual networks on laptops and other machines for software-defined (and traditional) networking research, development and teaching. Mininet provides critical open source infrastructure that is helping to enable the SDN revolution: nearly every SDN project has benefited from Mininet in some way, and it empowers the entire SDN community. Read on to learn how and why.

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Timon Sloane, VP of Standards and Membership at ONF, explains how vendors, operators, and integrators alike can benefit from the Open Innovation Pipeline.

We announced our Open Innovation Pipeline strategy in March, which stirred plenty of excitement. The strategy, made possible by the joining of ONF and ON.Lab, provides a broadly applicable framework built on turn-key open source building blocks to deliver complete solutions for network operators. With the Open Innovation Pipeline, we are bringing together the industry in a unifying effort to advance open source networking solutions. Continue reading

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Timon Sloane, VP of Standards & Membership at ONF, shares his thoughts on network disaggregation, and what needs to happen next for the industry to move forward.  

Disaggregation. It’s a hot topic in the industry today and a subject that the ONF played a critical role in when introducing it to the world more than half a decade ago. The OpenFlow standard enabled the disaggregation of the forwarding plane from the control plane to allow them to evolve independently and for innovation to proceed unencumbered.

Innovation is what Software Defined Networking (SDN) is all about.
Continue reading

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