Thoughts on the start of Open Source SDN
“It’s about time!” Usually we say that with a snarky attitude. While I can do snark pretty well, right now I am just stoked about what is happening on this site with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) as our sponsor. It’s about time that ONF created a community to develop open source solutions for operators of SDN. It’s about time we added to the Foundation’s specifications (like OpenFlow) and provided more tools and supporting software for these protocols. A growing ecosystem of open source software solutions for SDN is rising among us, and it’s about time we build a landing page – an SDN portal – that will track development, encourage interaction, and create integrated SDN real-live TAR-ball solutions out of solo software projects. It’s about time that we start putting the “S” into SDN.
But it’s also about YOUR TIME. If you take a look around the site (and we are adding to it every day), you will find lots of general information, news, links, and our Open Source SDN Groups community environment, where you can spin up new groups, sign up for mailing lists, engage in existing projects, and make something happen. Education, training, events, calendars, the whole buzz is coming soon. And it’s all free to join—no ONF membership required.
It’s about time for our SDN movement to evolve to the next level, to start cashing in on the promise of SDN. We have made progress, but SDN is still too challenging for mainstream network operators who don’t have 20 hours a week to make things work. We need integrated solutions, stacks of software that can be downloaded and deployed, and helpful Open Source SDN community gurus to help folks out (think “SDN Stack Overflow”). We need to get serious, make time, get engaged, get moving, spread the word, and make a difference.
On behalf of this new effort, I want to encourage you (and your company) to get involved. We have code projects that need help. We have work to get started. Maybe your company’s projects would thrive in an open source community environment with the best coders from around the world working to make things better. Maybe you can help with our events, with our marketing, with videos and learning applications. The work is out there, and there’s something for all of us to do. Let’s not sit around and wait for an opportunity, when one is staring us right in the face.
Welcome to Open Source SDN. It’s about time—for me, for you, and for SDN.
- Stu Bailey, Chair of the ONF Software Leadership Council and Founder and CTO of Infoblox