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Compliance Simplified.

Aug 16, 2013

The importance of OpenFlow® Conformance, and the process of getting your product tested.

Last month we launched our OpenFlow® Conformance Program, a significant milestone for the Open Networking Foundation, giving networking vendors an opportunity to demonstrate compliance with the OpenFlow® specification. This program offers vendors the highest level of industry assurance in the market today and ultimately advocates for the Software-Defined Networking (SDN) end user. We’ve received great interest in the program, as well as some good questions to answer.

In my first blog post about the program, I addressed the big question on everyone’s minds: the benefits of certified conformance. These include peace of mind, use of the “OpenFlow® Conformant” logo, a “Certificate of Conformance,” a listing on a new upcoming product directory area on the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) website, and more. In this post, I’d like to touch on two additional questions – why conformance is important, and how the conformance process works.

ONF’s OpenFlow® Conformance Program offers independent, third-party verification that compliant products use current technology and are guaranteed to accurately implement the OpenFlow® specification, reflective of all the major attributes and capabilities of the OpenFlow® protocol. “OpenFlow® Conformant” products promise predictable results, ensuring satisfaction in end users’ investments and reinforcing their confidence in respective vendors.

If you’re interested in testing a product, the process is straightforward. When your product is ready, contact an ONF-accredited independent testing lab and complete an application. The Indiana Center for Network Translational Research and Education (InCNTRE) is the first approved lab for ONF OpenFlow® Conformance testing, and more labs will be announced shortly. Once you are in contact with the lab, you will work with them to define a mutually agreeable schedule for product delivery. Upon lab certification, ONF will approve the awarding of a “Certificate of Conformance” and its associated benefits.

If your organization is not a member of ONF, we recommend joining our movement. While access to the test is free to anyone, becoming a member in ONF has critical entitlements that will speed your product development process.

For more information about the ONF OpenFlow® Conformance program, check out the website here: www.opennetworking.org/openflow-conformance-testing-program. Also, I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about the program – feel free to send me an email at rick.bauer@opennetworking.org.

– Rick Bauer, Technical Program Manager