< back to overview

Your Vision. Our Roadmap.

Apr 16, 2013

ONF unveils technical roadmap for 2013, working toward advancing the industry as an end user advocate and steward of the OpenFlow® standard.

ONF has a busy year ahead of us. We are eager to drive the commercialization of open, standards-based SDN as an advocate for the global end-user, and today we announced our new technical roadmap detailing our plans for 2013.

ONF has been at the forefront of the SDN movement for the past two years, and in that time, we have watched organizations begin to understand the value of software programmability in the network. We are thrilled by the amount of activity taking place in this industry that we are so passionate about.

We must emphasize the value in the establishment of SDN standards, where appropriate, to encourage interoperability and promote best-of-breed choice by operators. ONF advocates non-vendor-specific protocols, as truly open standards best meet the needs of users. Moreover, as networking moves into the realm of software, ONF does not believe that all standards should be set by a committee. We will standardize only what is necessary to move this budding industry forward, and it encourages experimentation with software for server-based features to best meet individual business needs.

Thus, ONF is focusing its effort this year on four main pillars:

  • Building out the OpenFlow® substrate
  • Fostering implementation and deployment
  • Encouraging innovation
  • Support services above the OpenFlow® protocol.

As the steward of the OpenFlow® protocol standard, ONF is working to shepherd the SDN movement. Just as silicon became the substrate for chips, and fueled a revolution, we are building the OpenFlow® substrate on which flexible software is developed to meet the varied market needs of SDN users, empowering a new revolution in networking. We will continue to foster implementation and development through a standardized approach while encouraging SDN innovation.

In addition, ONF plans to accomplish the following this year:

  • Evolution of the OpenFlow® protocol to version 1.4
  • Prototyping new features before they are accepted into standards specifications to ensure that they meet end-user needs
  • Certifying products built on OpenFlow® 1.0 through OpenFlow® 1.3 through a formal conformance testing and certification program
  • Embarking on Operations, Administration, and Maintenance (OAM) and security aspects for OpenFlow® switches and controllers
  • Fostering a supply chain for physical OpenFlow® switches by developing table typing patterns in the Forwarding Abstractions Working Group and convening a chipmakers advisory board that will encourage OpenFlow® support in Ethernet chips
  • Introducing the Migration Working Group to make recommendations on guidelines, systems, tools, and metrics for migrating to an OpenFlow® network
  • Introducing the Optical Transport Working Group to bring the benefits of OpenFlow® control to optical links and networks.

Last, but certainly not least, ONF has appointed Rick Bauer as technical program manager to oversee the ONF technical roadmap. Rick brings a career in IT management to his role at ONF, having served as a technology officer and CIO for a variety of enterprise and non-profit organizations. He has also had broad involvement in industry standards groups, having served in positions with the Cybersecurity Credentials Collaborative, the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), and the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

As the spearhead of the SDN movement, we take our obligation to the industry seriously. We are excited to experience firsthand the growing interest in the implementation and deployment of SDN solutions by bringing users and vendors together for mutual success, and we look forward to working with this engaged community to advance SDN in 2013.

– Dan Pitt

Executive Director