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ONF Enters a New Era Focused on Growing Adoption and Community for its Leading Open Source Projects

Software development of ONF projects shifts to the ONF community as ONF announces new leadership and new Area Governing Boards

MENLO PARK, Calif. - April 5, 2022 -- The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) today announced it has entered a new phase in its journey optimized to build on industry momentum for open networking, shifting from reliance on an internal engineering team funded by partner fees to growing adoption and the community of developers collaboratively advancing ONF’s projects. Timon Sloane will lead the ONF as General Manager, and new Area Governance Boards will be formed to steer the major project areas as ONF transitions into a more classic open source organization.

In 2011, ONF took on the audacious mission of transforming networking by championing software-defined networking (SDN), disaggregation and open source. ONF partnered with networking operators to fund the development of software-defined programmable platforms to seed the industry with innovative solutions. This has been a marked success, with a number of these platforms having made their way into production deployments with tier-1 operators.

Now that ONF has successfully seeded the industry with innovative software-defined platforms, the ONF board determined that it is time for ONF to shift into its next phase to focus on furthering adoption and building community around these platforms. To this end, ONF has open sourced the entirety of its portfolio of production-ready platforms, including solutions for public 5G (SD-Core, SD-RAN), private 5G networks (Aether), software-defined broadband (SEBA/VOLTHA) and P4 programmable networks (SD-Fabric, PINS). As the ONF shifts development resources for its projects to the community, the majority of ONF’s internal development team will transition to be employed by Intel.

“We are excited to enter this next phase of ONF’s journey,” said Andre Fuetsch, ONF Chair and AT&T Executive Vice President & Network CTO. “Now that the ONF’s projects have reached maturity and market adoption, it is time for the projects to be released into the open source community. This has always been our vision. We are pleased with the progress we have made toward more open, disaggregated and interoperable networks. With the development team joining Intel, we are optimistic that project contributions will continue to grow.” 

“ONF has made important contributions to the industry with its software-defined development projects, and I am confident that its move to a community-sourced model as part of its next stage of growth will fuel further contributions as the industry and its needs advance,” said Nick McKeown, founding ONF board member and Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Network and Edge Group at Intel. “As a result of ONF’s shift in direction, we are pleased to welcome ONF’s development team to Intel. We look forward to our continued contributions to ONF projects, the ongoing success of ONF-developed platforms, and our active participation in the ONF community.”

“ONF’s journey has been transformational,” said Guru Parulkar, VP Intel NEX and Board Member, ONF. “In collaboration with our partners, our small amazing team has challenged the status quo and ignited the SDN movement. We have built platforms that naysayers said were doomed to fail, we’ve proven what’s possible, and today a number of our platforms have been deployed in production networks and others are now production ready and expected to be broadly adopted. I’m exceptionally proud of our team and of the work we have accomplished to date - but our work is not done. Today we are simply shifting to a new model optimized for the next phase of our transformative journey towards open networking. While ONF’s engineering team is moving to Intel, the work of ONF proceeds unabated, and I’m more bullish than ever that its impact will continue to grow.”

Community-led Governance and New Area Governing Boards
All of ONF’s projects have now been released to open source with permissive software licenses. In order to empower community leadership for ONF’s portfolio moving forward, ONF will create Area Governing Boards to guide the work within ONF’s major areas of focus, including:

ONF AreaProjects
MobileSD-RAN, SD-Core
Private 5G & EdgeAether
SDN P4 Programmable Data PlanesSD-Fabric, P4, PINS, ONOS, Stratum


The new Area Governing Boards are to consist of elected industry business leaders who will strategically guide the portfolio for each Area. Community-elected Technical Steering Teams (TSTs) comprised of developers and technical leaders will continue to guide the technical decisions and roadmaps for individual projects within each Area.

About the Open Networking Foundation
The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is an operator-driven, community-led non-profit consortium fostering and democratizing innovation in software-defined programmable networks. Led by its board members AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Google, Intel, Microsoft, NTT Group and Türk Telekom, ONF is accelerating the state-of-the-art in open networking, catalyzing creation and adoption of open disaggregated solutions leveraging SDN and open source software. For further information visit https://onfstaging1.opennetworking.org