OpenDaylight is building on our work, SDN group's director says

The Open Networking Foundation intended its OpenFlow protocol to be built upon, its executive director said

The OpenDaylight Project may have won attention last week with a founding list of vendors including Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks, but it's standing on the shoulders of others, according to the head of the Open Networking Foundation.

OpenDaylight will be building part of its planned framework for software-defined networking on the OpenFlow protocol that ONF introduced in 2011, ONF Executive Director Dan Pitt said on Tuesday at the Open Networking Summit. The standing-room-only conference is ONF's annual gathering to discuss SDN (software-defined networking), which is intended to place the control of networks in software apart from dedicated hardware.

"It's sort of an evolution of what we were doing," Pitt said in answer to an audience member's question at the conference in Santa Clara, California. "I don't think you would be able to start this ... OpenDaylight consortium if you didn't have a foundation to build upon."

Specifically, OpenDaylight's planned API (application programming interface) for communication between its controller software and network devices will be built on OpenFlow, Pitt said. That's despite the fact that ONF is not a member of OpenDaylight, which includes a long list of major IT and networking vendors including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Ericsson.

Despite broad agreement on SDN's potential, building a whole new foundation for networking is proving to be a complicated dance among vendors, academic projects and standards bodies.

OpenDaylight plans to develop an entire open-source framework for SDN, of which the so-called "southbound API" between controller and network devices would be just one part. The project is being hosted by the Linux Foundation, and the consortium says it is committed to openness, with membership open to any individual or company. OpenDaylight said it had had discussions with ONF.

Last week, ONF, which includes Google, Facebook, Verizon and Deutsche Telekom among its members, responded cautiously to OpenDaylight's launch.

"As a voice of the user community, ONF supports those initiatives that are true to our guiding principles by being based on multi-vendor standards and open to broad, merit-based, multi-vendor input. We are eager to see how this and other initiatives measure up to these principles and meet the needs of users," the group said in a statement.

At least one prominent member of ONF, open software-based networking vendor Big Switch Networks, told Network World it was concerned about Cisco's influence on OpenDaylight.

"We are concerned that Cisco will politicize the selection process ... and that they will begin deprecating the code to move it more toward the proprietary model that serves them and no one else, most especially customers," the company said. Big Switch is also a member of OpenDaylight.

On Tuesday, Pitt didn't seem offended that the new consortium was copying off ONF's homework. He said that's the purpose of OpenFlow, an open-source protocol he called a "substrate," invoking Silicon Valley's history of silicon and other chip manufacturing.

"The substrate allows you to build things like open-source software, other kinds of software to experiment with what makes sense, what gives you good interfaces and services for users."

Code that members contribute to OpenDaylight will be chosen solely on the basis of merit, said Inder Gopal, vice president for networking development at IBM.

"The provenance of the code doesn't matter," Gopal said in a presentation on OpenDaylight at the conference. "Once it becomes Daylight, it's Daylight code."

In answer to another question at the standing-room-only conference, ONF's Pitt said open-source software isn't the same as a standard. If one party controls the software, it may let others use and adapt the code but make unilateral changes that leave them hanging.

"If it's open, but not standard, it might be controlled by a single party," Pitt said. "Something that's standard means it's got broad community and industry agreement on what it is and on how it's used."

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Open Networking FoundationNetworking

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?