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Open Networking Foundation Plans SDN, NFV Future

March 16, 2017

As open networking becomes an ever-greater part of normal networking operations, the work of the Open Networking Federation (ONF) becomes just as vital. Recently, the ONF showed off its Open Innovation Pipeline system, which would serve as a roadmap for upcoming future developments in the fields of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV).

The Open Innovation Pipeline reveals some critical information going forward, including plans to put particular focus on a few major technologies. Those include open source platforms, disaggregation of network devices, and improving standards for software-defined operations. The need for a clearer map going forward became particularly worthwhile following the recent joining together of the ONF and the ON (News - Alert).Lab group;  having two of the biggest forces in open networking working together made for a clear need to get both sides of the coin together on upcoming approaches.

ON.Lab was perhaps best known for its pair of open frameworks in SDN and NFV: the Open Network Operating System (ONOS) and the Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD) project. So far, these systems have proven welcome, and the roadmap as laid out features these two developments heavily in new events to come. In fact, one point calls for the duo to take advantage of the ONF's relationships with telecom firms to improve overall deployment of these systems. With the pair working together like this, there should be more ready access to operators by suppliers, as well as a new ability to contribute to standards development activities.

The executive director of the ONF, ON.Lab and Stanford Platform Lab Guru Parulkar commented “Perhaps more importantly, this pipeline allows members of all types to bring their unique innovation and value into the system. Operators, suppliers and integrators all have a role to play, and the pipeline helps integrate these contributions into consumable systems for operators.”

When the ONF and ON. Lab first got together, many realized it was a great step forward for open networking. These two had already made significant strides separately, and the idea of them working together was one that looked worth pursuing. Now, seeing what the pair made one now has in mind for the future, this should cement the notion that these two should have come together and worked in concert.

We likely haven't seen the last of developments from the ONF, especially with the ON.Lab contributions. With a new roadmap guiding the way, and this clearly gifted pair of groups now working together, the end result should be something special.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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