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[openflow-announce] Announcing the Open Networking Foundation

Nick McKeown nickm at
Mon Mar 21 21:09:23 PDT 2011

Dear OpenFlow team members,

I'm writing to tell you that the Open Networking Foundation is now open 
for business. The press release pasted below went out at 9pm tonight.  
We have been working to set up ONF for over a year. It will be very 
interesting to watch what happens over the next few days.

The essential message is that ONF was created to promote Software 
Defined Networking (SDN), of which OpenFlow is the first step. OpenFlow 
will now be moved over to ONF. You will all have a chance to meet Dan 
Pitt, who is the new Executive Director, in the coming weeks. Dan is 
great, and comes with many years of experience in networking and 
standardization. First item of business will be to start assembling 
working groups and get to work.

Thank you everyone for all the hard work, debate and energy devoted to 
bringing OpenFlow from a seedling idea, to adoption by a broad 
cross-section of the networking industry. You will also notice that is up, and is updated. 
If you are having trouble finding information, or if you find broken 
links, please let us know.

We will be in touch soon to start figuring out the next steps in the 
- Nick

  *Open Networking Foundation Formed to Speed Network Innovation*

PORTLAND, Ore.-- Six companies that own and operate some of the largest 
networks in the world --- Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, 
Verizon, and Yahoo! --- announced today the formation of the Open 
Networking Foundation (ONF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to 
promoting a new approach to networking called Software-Defined 
Networking (SDN). Joining these six founding companies in creating ONF 
are 17 member companies, including major equipment vendors, networking 
and virtualization software suppliers, and chip technology providers.

In the past two decades, enormous innovation has taken place on top of 
the Internet architecture. Email, e-commerce, search, social networks, 
cloud computing, and the web as we know it are all good examples. While 
networking technologies have also evolved in this time, the ONF believes 
that more rapid innovation is needed. SDN fulfills this need by enabling 
innovation in all kinds of networks --- including data centers, wide 
area telecommunication networks, wireless networks, enterprises and in 
homes --- through relatively simple software changes. SDN thus gives 
owners and operators of networks better control over their networks, 
allowing them to optimize network behavior to best serve their and their 
customers' needs. For instance, in data centers SDN can be used to 
reduce energy usage by allowing some routers to be powered down during 
off-peak periods.

The SDN approach arose out of a six-year research collaboration between 
Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley. 
Essential to SDN are two basic components: a software interface (called 
OpenFlow) for controlling how packets are forwarded through network 
switches, and a set of global management interfaces upon which more 
advanced management tools can be built. The first task of ONF will be to 
adopt and then lead the ongoing development of the OpenFlow standard 
and encourage its adoption by freely licensing it to all member 
companies. ONF will then begin the process of defining global management 

"Software-Defined Networking will allow networks to evolve and improve 
more quickly than they can today," said Urs Hoelzle, ONF President and 
Chairman of the Board, and Senior Vice President of Engineering at 
Google. "Over time, we expect SDN will help networks become both more 
secure and more reliable."

"With broad industry support from technology leaders and networking 
experts, the ONF brings new opportunities and flexibility to the future 
of networking," added Jonathan Heiliger, ONF Founding Board Member and 
Vice President of Technical Operations at Facebook. "We're actively 
encouraging new members to join us in this endeavor."

The initial members (including founding companies) of ONF are: Broadcom, 
Brocade, Ciena, Cisco, Citrix, Dell, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, 
Facebook, Force10, Google, HP, IBM, Juniper Networks, Marvell, 
Microsoft, NEC, Netgear, NTT, Riverbed Technology, Verizon, VMware, and 

A veteran of the networking industry and networking standards bodies, 
Dan Pitt will serve as Executive Director of the ONF starting on April 
1, 2011.

*ONF Founding Board Members Support Open Networking Technologies*

"Industry-wide open application programming interface (API) efforts like 
ONF are promising for the next generation of network-based offerings," 
said Bruno Orth, Senior Vice President of Network Strategy and 
Architecture at Deutsche Telekom. "SDN principles advance Deutsche 
Telekom's vision of 'connected life and work' and are expected to 
accelerate innovation for a seamless customer experience."

"As the owner and operator of one of the largest networks of data 
centers, Microsoft recognizes the potential of highly programmable 
network management systems to boost the capabilities of our cloud 
computing platform in a profound way," said Arne Josefsberg, General 
Manager of Windows Azure Infrastructure at Microsoft.

"We believe the ONF effort will accelerate the development of key 
network capabilities, which will help evolve our networks to be more 
responsive to our customers' needs," said Stu Elby, Vice President, 
Network Architecture & Technology at Verizon.

"It is no surprise that the Internet audience continues to grow rapidly 
and the networks are the foundation of this expansion," said Adam 
Bechtel, Vice President of Yahoo! Infrastructure. "Through the ONF, 
we're excited to work towards improving the agility of massive networks 
and drive the evolution of SDN."

"Stronger definition of network behavior in software is a growing trend, 
and open interfaces are going to lead to faster innovation," said Nick 
McKeown, ONF Board member and professor at Stanford University. "We're 
excited to see the industry building upon university research," added 
Scott Shenker, ONF Board member and professor at the University of 
California, Berkeley.

*About the Open Networking Foundation*

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is a nonprofit, mutual benefit 
trade organization organized under Section 501(c)(6) of the US Internal 
Revenue code. ONF's mission is to promote the development and use of 
Software-Defined Networking ("SDN") technologies, including OpenFlow, to 
allow networks to improve more quickly. SDN enables rapid innovation 
because it allows network owners and operators to optimize the network 
for their needs.



Open Networking Foundation
press at 
<mailto:press at>

Source: Open Networking Foundation

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