As Software Defined Networking (SDN) has matured from just being a theoretical concept to a production reality, consolidation is now happening in SDN advocacy efforts as well. Today the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and ON.Lab announced that they would be merging, bringing the two groups' SDN efforts under one umbrella organization.
The ONF got its start in 2011 and helped to advance the OpenFlow standard, while ON.lab has been active with its ONOS SDN platform. The ONF has 110 member companies, while ON.Lab has 70 member companies.
Guru Parulkar, executive director of the ONF, told Enterprise Networking Planet that there is already existing overlap between the two organizations and membership. Among the companies that had been members of both organizations are ATTO Research, Cisco, Ciena, Corsa, Ericsson, ETRI, Fujitsu, Google, Intel, Huawei, Mellanox, NEC, Nokia, NTT, Noviflow, Samsung, SK Telecom and Xilinx.
"With this news, ONF's membership will grow to 140-150 companies representing all stakeholders in the industry to create one of the largest ecosystems," Parulkar said.
There is also a connection between ONF and the Linux Foundation, with the ONOS and CORD projects led by ON.Lab. Parulkar said that with the ONF merger, the ONOS and CORD boards and governance will continue unchanged and they will continue to be Linux Foundation Collaborative projects.
"Over the last few years, it has become clear to the industry that SDN standards and open source software development must come together," Parulkar said. "Open source is critical to the ongoing development of OpenFlow and ultimately widespread SDN deployment by organizations of all sizes."
Parulkar added that OpenFlow as well as the open source ONOS and CORD projects will be the focus of the combined ONF organization. Looking forward, he said a roadmap for OpenFlow will be released in Q1 of 2017 with further details on growth plans for the standard. Updates on CORD and ONOS, including roadmaps, events, working groups and governance updates, can be found on the CORD wiki web site and the ONOS wiki web site.
"ONF's mission will be to build open source platforms and standards that the industry finds useful and embraces to accelerate adoption of SDN," Parulkar said. "We will also be working closely with the community to define how exactly open source and standards can work together. "
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist