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Open Networking Foundation Sees High Growth in Commercialization of SDN and OpenFlow® at PlugFest

Interoperability Event hosted at Indiana University’s InCNTRE Lab, the First Certified Lab Selected by ONF for the Conformance Testing Program

PALO ALTO, Calif., October 18, 2012 – The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Software-Defined Networking (SDN), hosted its second semi-annual PlugFest event to drive interoperability, certification, and commercialization of SDN and the OpenFlow® protocol.

During the week of October 8-12, 2012, nearly 20 ONF member companies gathered at the Indiana Center for Network Translational Research and Education (InCNTRE) at Indiana University to test cases of OpenFlow® applied to service provider, data center, and enterprise markets. The event nearly doubled its member company participation since the inaugural event held in March, and also saw high growth in the number of products tested. In addition to hosting the event, InCNTRE was selected as the first certified lab for the ONF conformance testing program.

The PlugFest was planned and managed by ONF’s Testing and Interoperability Working Group, which is dedicated to driving certification, interoperability, and benchmarking of the OpenFlow® protocol. The event provided participating ONF member companies the opportunity to test interoperability and enhance implementations of OpenFlow® versions 1.0 and 1.2 in commercial and test controllers and switches. Applications that were tested included topology discovery and layer 2-3 use cases. Additionally, new tests extended to virtual machines and testing of OF Config 1.1.

“This October’s event proved to be a success and highlighted the evolution of OpenFlow-based SDN,” said Mike Haugh, senior marketing product manager at Ixia and chair of the Testing & Interoperability Working Group. “We not only saw growth in participants and products being tested, but we also saw a movement towards commercial controllers that are available on the market. This uptick in participation and commercial products validates the maturity of SDN and the OpenFlow® protocol for version 1.0 and continued effort going forward.”

In conjunction with the PlugFest, ONF also launched the conformance testing program, with InCNTRE being selected as the first certified conformance testing lab. The new program is being administered by the Testing & Interoperability Working Group and allows ONF member companies to apply for OpenFlow® certification of their products. Currently, the lab will be certifying OpenFlow® 1.0 switches. The pilot program is underway and the certification is expected to be available in December.

“InCNTRE is the world’s only neutral testing lab for SDN and is a natural to be included as a certified lab in the ONF’s conformance testing program,” said Matthew Davy, executive director of InCNTRE, ONF Academic Associate, and technical contributor to the ONF Testing & Interoperability Working Group. “InCNTRE is honored to be named an ONF-approved conformance test center, and we look forward to many years of collaboration with this important industry forum. Our first official collaborative event, the October PlugFest, was a huge success and we had a great turnout with nearly 20 companies sending more than 50 employees from all over the world. Interoperability testing is a core mission of InCNTRE, and it was exciting to watch so much progress being made to further SDN technologies."

“Being a member of ONF involves more than just promoting awareness of OpenFlow® and SDN or writing the OpenFlow® standard. We encourage implementation of the technology, and through events like PlugFest and the certified conformance testing program member companies have the opportunity to work in real time with other industry players to test and achieve interoperability in specific, high-impact environments and applications,” said Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation. “This inspires confidence by the buyers of these products that they will work and will work together. The PlugFest provides a neutral environment for member companies to iron out implementation details and helps to accelerate the success and understanding of SDN. The InCNTRE Lab and other conformance test labs certified in the program help to ensure the growth and customer acceptance of this innovative technology.”

PlugFest Participant Testimonials

  • "Brocade is very pleased with the results of the OpenFlow® PlugFest this October. Brocade continues to develop SDN solutions for enterprises and service providers, enabling new levels of control over the network for increased business agility, new service models and better IT asset utilization. As a member company of the ONF and the InCNTRE Lab, Brocade sees events such as the PlugFest as vital to the adoption of SDN technologies in production environments," said Daniel Williams, director of product marketing for routing and application delivery products at Brocade. “The success of this recent PlugFest continues to foster a growing ecosystem driving the evolution of the standards for multivendor SDNs.”
  • "As an upstart Ethernet switching silicon vendor and a pioneer in SDN/Openflow in China, Centec is proud to participate the ONF's PlugFest interoperability test event at Indiana University's  InCNTRE lab,” said Tao Gu, vice president of business development at Centec Networks. "Centec's V330 Openflow switch solutions are already being deployed in Data Centers in China, the successful interoperability test further proves the standard conformance of compliance of the solution and interoperability with other leading SDN vendor's products, we look forward to wider adoption of our Openflow solutions by the SDN industry.”
  • “Ciena strongly backs ONF’s efforts to transform the networking industry through SDN. The promise of SDN, coupled with packet networking solutions that are built for speed and service assurance, will transform complex networks into intelligent, automated platforms that can deliver performance as applications demands,” said Steve Alexander, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Ciena. “The ONF PlugFest provided Ciena an opportunity to engage with other forward-looking network innovators to refine the OpenFlow® standard, and ultimately achieve the degree of speed and openness our customers expect from next-generation packet networking technology. After a week of intense testing, we were encouraged by the OpenFlow® implementations and resultant interoperability achieved.”
  • “Today’s legacy networks are complex, cumbersome and slow to respond to organizational changes,” said Mike Banic, vice president of marketing, Networking, HP. “Our collaboration with the Open Networking Foundation is helping to advance the development of the OpenFlow® protocol, delivering on the promise of SDN by eliminating manual CLI coding and automating network configuration across hardware, software and applications through a single control plane.”
  • "Huawei is thankful to ONF for coordinating the recent interoperability PlugFest in Indianapolis. We were excited to be able to test our OpenFlow® 1.2 controller and switch with other vendors,” said Justin Joubine Dustzadeh, chief technology officer and vice president, technology strategy, networks at Huawei. “We look forward to continued participation in ONF testing events to help further the progression of open networking.”
  • "Incorporating OpenFlow® into networks to increase programmability, tame complexity, and enable scale is very important to our customers building SDN enabled data centers for performance and flexibility over traditional networking," said Stuart Bailey, chief technology officer and founder of Infoblox."We are continuing to see increased interest from our customers in Software Defined Networking as specifically articulated by the Open Networking Foundation and centered around the OpenFlow® standard.  As a service to our customers, Infoblox is continuing to increase our involvement and investments in OpenFlow® technologies and ONF SDN activities like this interoperability event.”
  • “Juniper Networks is committed to driving innovation through software programmability and open standard protocols like Open Flow,” said Michael Bushong, senior director product management at Juniper Networks. “Conformance and interoperability testing help drive an SDN ecosystem that ultimately offers our customers choice in deploying networking solutions.”
  • "Interoperability testing at PlugFest for our ProgrammableFlow® Network Suite is a natural extension of our commitment to open, programmable networks," said Su-Hun Yun, senior manager at NEC Corporation of America. "NEC co-founded The Clean Slate Lab at Stanford University, where SDN and the OpenFlow® protocol began, and has pioneered both the Research and Education and the commercial use of OpenFlow. We brought our entire ProgrammableFlow portfolio to be tested, including our award-winning  ProgrammableFlow Controller PF6800, ProgrammableFlow Switches PF5240, PF5820, and our newest OpenFlow-based virtual switch, the PF1000. All have tested successfully, with both the switches and other controllers represented at PlugFest. NEC is a founding member of the Indiana Center for Network Translational Research and Education (InCNTRE) at Indiana University."
  • "We think that interoperability is the first step for discussion of OpenFlow® architecture in detail.We will consider new services by using the information and feedback which we acquired during the PlugFest event,” said Naoto Umemori, assistant manager at NTT Data. “The value of such an event lies in the knowledge of the acquired technical matter and the collaboration with many companies in the ONF."


About ONF

Launched in 2011 by Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, and Yahoo!, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is a growing nonprofit organization with more than 80 members whose mission is to advance the commercialization and use of SDN and OpenFlow. ONF will accelerate the delivery and use of SDN and OpenFlow® technologies and standards while fostering a vibrant market of products, services, applications, customers, and users.