Open Networking Foundation (ONF) advocates an open standards-based approach to software-defined network implementation. The OpenFlow® Standard is the only open, standard protocol that enables Software-Defined Networking (SDN) by giving administrators software-based access to the flow control tasks provided by switches and routers in traditional network architectures.
The OpenFlow® Standard approach differs from traditional routers and switches, in which the fast packet forwarding (data path) and the high level routing decisions (control path) occur on the same device. OpenFlow® Switches separate these two functions. The data path portion still resides on the switch, while high-level routing decisions are moved to a separate controller, typically a standard server. The OpenFlow® Switch and OpenFlow® Controller communicate via the OpenFlow® Standard, which defines messages such as packet-received, send-packet-out, modify-forwarding-table, and get-stats.
The ability to define network-wide data flow translates into significant business benefits, as administrators can readily support high-value applications with specialized needs.
ONF specifications include the OpenFlow® Standard, OpenFlow® Configuration, and Testing and Interoperability.
For more information, please view our SDN Document Library & White Papers.