The OpenFlow® switch protocol provides an open interface for controlling connectivity and flows within that connectivity in a Software Defined Network (SDN). OpenFlow® is an extensible protocol, providing mechanisms for SDN programmers to define additional protocol elements (e.g., new match fields, actions, port properties, etc.) to address new network technologies and behaviors. OpenFlow® Table Type Patterns are a vehicle for describing an OpenFlow® controllable datapath, allowing switch and controller vendors to work independently to create interoperable SDN products.
The Open Datapath project is maintaining and evolving the OpenFlow® protocol and associated datapath modeling technologies (e.g., TTPs and other NDMs) to expand the scope of SDN control to support a broad spectrum of datapath hardware platforms, including fully programmable packet switches (i.e., switches with no built-in protocol behavior). These technologies provide the foundation for a rich SDN ecosystem and software development lifecycle for SDN products.