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ONF Open Innovation Pipeline Launched for SDN, NFV, and Cloud Solutions

February 15, 2017 By Molly White in

The pending merger of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab) is progressing amidst growing testing and deployment of commercial software-defined networking (SDN) technology by telecom carriers and networking industry participants. As alignment of the two industry associations’ strategic goals and resources proceeds during the final stages of the merger process, ONF just announced the launch of its Open Innovation Pipeline. The ONF Open Innovation Pipeline aims to offer greater rewards to members who participate in ONF’s collaborative process.    

ONF Open Innovation Pipeline  

ONF’s Open Innovation Platform builds upon ON.Lab’s open-source CORD and ONOS open-source development platforms, which telecom and high-tech companies are using to design, build and test solutions that make use of SDN, NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) and Cloud technologies.

The new platform is now open to ONF’s 200-plus members, which should add momentum to development of new commercial, carrier-grade solutions. In addition, ONF is taking a software-defined standards approach to ensure interoperability APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and data models, ONF highlights.

“The ONF’s Open Innovation Pipeline lowers the barrier to entry by providing a broadly applicable framework built on open source building blocks to deliver complete solutions for network operators,” elaborated Guru Parulkar, executive director of ONF, ON.Lab and Stanford Platform Lab.

“Perhaps more importantly, this pipeline allows members of all types to bring their unique innovation and value into the solution. Operators, vendors and integrators all have a role to play, and the pipeline helps integrate these contributions into consumable solutions for operators.”

Open Source Impact

ONF’s VP of standards and membership Timon Sloane drew attention to the impact open source has been having in the networking industry, more specifically regarding development of integrated standards that incorporate SDN, NFV and Cloud technology.

“Gone are the days when standards drove innovation. Open source is moving much more quickly than the traditional standards process, and as such we are ‘recrafting’ the ONF’s mission around standards to include a focus on deriving Interoperability APIs and Data Model from open source in order to promote interoperability.

“It is very important to us that all the pieces of this new ecosystem can play well together, and we see this expanded focus as central to enabling the crafting of solutions from the disaggregated components now taking shape across the industry.”

An ONF Supporting Board Member, Google has customarily taken, and benefited from taking, an open source approach to software development. ONF chairman/president and Google SVP, technical infrastructure Urs Hölzle pointed out that the networking industry as a whole has been slow to offer end-to-end open source alternatives.

ON.Lab and ONF have been changing that, he noted. “The networking space has been slowest to offer end-to-end open source alternatives. SDN is a chance to rearchitect how networks are built, and while so doing, presents the perfect inflection point for open source to take on a pivotal role. We are committed to the ONF to help drive this inflection and to help push networking forward into the open source era.”