Open Networking Foundation pushes networking standard
By Asia Cloud Forum staff 14-Apr-2011
The Open Networking Foundation
(ONF) was formed on 21 March to promote a new approach to networking called Software-Defined Networking (SDN), which gives service providers granular control of network infrastructures.
SDN can be used in data centers to reduce energy usage by allowing some routers to be powered down during off-peak periods.
6-year research collaboration
The SDN approach arose out of a six-year research collaboration between Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley.
"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.
OpenFlow software interface
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 interfaces.
ONF has six founding companies -- Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, and Yahoo -- and 17 member companies, which include the major equipment vendors, networking and virtualization software suppliers, and chip technology providers.
As one of the 17 member companies, Brocade will develop OpenFlow to enable user companies to build high-value applications across their networks.
Brocade has developed an OpenFlow enabled IP/MPLS router as part of its service provider product portfolio for application verification and interoperability testing with its partners and customers. It will initially deliver solutions that enable the scalability and manageability required in hyper-scale cloud infrastructures.
"Our goal is to leverage OpenFlow to build compelling cloud networking solutions for service providers and network operators worldwide, while lowering the cost associated with operating their networks," said Ken Cheng, vice president, service provider products, Brocade.
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