Farewell 2014. Welcome 2015!

ONF Executive Director Dan Pitt reflects on 2014 and looks ahead to what 2015 has in store. 

ONF Happy New Year

2014 was a fantastic year for ONF and the open SDN movement as a whole. As the year comes to a close, I would like to take the time to reflect on our accomplishments as an organization. We’re approaching a fascinating and important time for SDN; the movement is out of its infancy and industry adoption is accelerating. We believe that ONF’s work this year reflects the maturity of the open SDN movement.

We kicked off 2014 by opening our membership to startup companies to encourage contributions from a wide range of SDN organizations for the benefit of end users. Since that time, we have since welcomed a total of 31 new members in this category in just one year. Startup organizations offer new, out-of-the-box thinking and drive innovation to help advance the commercialization and adoption of open SDN, and we are thrilled with this increase in participation.

In the spring, ONF made a couple of big splashes with our new and increasingly strategic foray into open-source software. In March ONF announced the availability of an educational OpenFlow® tool for network tapping called the ONF SampleTap application. Based on OpenFlow® v1.0 and written to run on an OpenDaylight controller, this application was designed as a teaching tool for programmers looking to gain experience with OpenFlow® and OpenDaylight. Since being released, the SampleTap application has been downloaded by hundreds of organizations, many of which downloaded and used the application. We also experienced great attendance during the SDNCentral webinar series on the application, now reaching over 3,000 people (and still climbing). Then later that month we announced the winner of the competition to build an OpenFlow® driver and presented a gigantic, photo-op ready check for $50,000 to CPqD, that creative lab in Brazil. SampleTap and the driver are examples of how code production augments standards development to promote SDN adoption.

Speaking of SDN adoption, ONF has seen great traction in our OpenFlow® Conformance Testing Program, welcoming three new testing labs this year to bring the total number of global testing facilities to six. Having these facilities located in different regions of the world provides greater access to testing labs, propelling the availability of OpenFlow-conformant products. In the fall, we extended our testing program to include non-ONF members, furthering the number of products that can be tested for broader certified market availability. We also announced that pilot testing for OpenFlow® v1.3 is currently underway with nine ONF member companies. By offering a larger range of testing options for companies and their products, we are able to propel more products to market to give network operators more choice.

OpenFlow-based product development also accelerated in 2014. At the Layer123 SDN and OpenFlow® World Congress, the ONF SDN Solutions Showcase highlighted four SDN themes: data center SDN, carrier SDN and WAN technologies, campus SDN, and testing and validation. What was great about this showcase was that it featured real customers (network operators, both members and non-members of ONF) of over 20 ONF member companies and provided examples of real-world SDN implementations and deployments from around the world. The showcase was such a success that we will have another one at the Open Networking Summit this coming June. You can get more details in our blog post here.

ONF also introduced the ONF-Certified SDN Professional (OCSP) Program designed to provide a strong foundation of vendor-neutral, concept- and technical-level credentials in open SDN.

2014 has been quite a busy year for ONF. If you want a sneak peek at what 2015 has in store, check out my predictions for SDN in my latest article in InformationWeek. We will certainly do more code augmentation this year and take whatever steps we can to get these beneficial technologies into the hands of network operators. We are proud of our accomplishments this past year, and we’re looking forward to what 2015 has in store. I want to personally thank all our members for these accomplishments. They are the “we” of whom I speak. See you in the new year!

– Dan Pitt, Executive Director