Open Networking Foundation Formed to Speed Network Innovation

By Stan Baldwin
Updated: March 25, 2011

Optimizing the flow of network traffic, especially in real-time, is difficult. Routers and switches are configured to direct traffic based upon a set of rules incorporated in the hardware. If it were possible to control the flow of packets through a network via a software interface, traffic optimization and therefore network efficiency, could be improved.

The creation of the Open Network Foundation (ONF), a new non-profit organization which will promote network optimization technologies, was recently announced by a group of network power users, including Google, Facebook and Verizon. The ONF describes the concept of using software to control the behavior of network devices as Software-Defined Networking (SDN). The first tool available, once a standard implementation and a structure for on-going development are put in place, will be OpenFlow. OpenFlow is the result of joint research conducted by Stanford University and UC Berkeley over the last six years. The university teams were led by Nick McKeown (Stanford) and Scott Shenker (UC Berkeley).

More extensive management interfaces will be built as the twenty-three initial members of the ONF work to expand SDN capabilities. In addition to the ability to try and test network configurations, OpenFlow would also permit, for instance, fast and easy prioritization of certain packet types or blocking portions of traffic.

The broad goal of Software Defined Networking is to make better use of the massive network hardware investment already in place.

Related Categories
Featured Research
  • Baselining Best Practices

    IT must ensure new applications are rolled out quickly, reliably, and without risk, while at the same time guaranteeing performance and availability. Read this VirtualWisdom white paper to find out how to achieve application-aligned infrastructure performance, and more. more

  • Next Generation End User Experience Management: APM

    In an era of new technologies and cloud-based application delivery models, your business success depends on your ability to ensure optimal application performance and quality user experiences at all times. This complimentary white paper from AppNeta will enlighten you to the new frontiers in end user experience management and much more. more

  • Video: Create an Integrated, Collaborative Microsoft Lync Environment

    Consider HP as your Microsoft Lync Solutions provider! more

  • Optimizing Application Delivery to the Network Edge

    Increasingly, the success of business is being tied to the network. The transformation of the network and IT can help organizations deliver and support highly available applications and services while reacting more quickly to changes in the business environment. In this complimentary white paper from IDC, learn how HP can help its customers and partners improve the overall application experience. more

  • Networking Routers Buyer's Guide for SMB & Enterprise

    This buyer's guide presents an overview of leading products on the market today and aims to improve research for companies needing to purchase or upgrade their equipment. more

Related Articles