The key principles of SDN are based on the ideas of simplification and programmability. Abstraction layers are at the heart of that design philosophy. By abstraction, we mean developing a separation between the controller (network operating system) and the applications and services. The first layer of abstractions between the control plane and hardware. This involves defining a small set of primitives (forwarding instructions) that enable network equipment manufactures to develop the control plane separately from the data plane and then rapidly integrate with new merchant silicon. Abstractions such a protocol blindness are available with some silicon. The SDN architecture also abstracts the control plane and network services, enabling the control plane and the underlying data plane to be policy independent.
ONF is excited about SDN and that the industry is so active in driving SDN implementations. SDN has taken many manifestations since the ONF was founded two years ago—some are moving in the right direction, some are not. In 2013, the ONF believes that the acceleration of an open SDN ecosystem is dependent upon an open vibrant SDN community committed to open Standards such as OpenFlow.In 2013, our mission is to drive initiatives that further vendor-neutral, interoperable, and open initiatives. These include:OpenFlow Foundation.Evolving the OpenFlow foundation, enhancing OpenFlow 1.3 and beginning work on OpenFlow 1.4/1.5, embarking on new extensions to the OpenFlow substrate to meet market needs, includingOpenFlow configuration, management, security, and transportDrive OpenFlow as the south-bound interface for programmability of the forwarding planeImplementing an OAM framework for OpenFlow which includes an event framework, bootstrap, and certificate exchangeONF has also created new working groups for Optical Transport to ensure that OpenFlow works with optical transportONF will also prototype new features before they are implemented into the standard to accelerate adoptionImplementation & DeploymentThrough ONF certification programs by end of 2013. The ONF will sanction independent labs for certification testing and the foundation will be responsible for conformance suite development.ONF will continue its tradition of bi-annual PlugFests where networking vendors get together to test the interoperability of their equipment and conformance to the OpenFlow standards.The ONF will also foster a supply chain ecosystem by developing a chipset advisory board and providing table typing pattern specification from the Forwarding Abstractions Working Group.SDN InnovationONF has announced an Open Source competition to make it easier for developers to build value around the OpenFlow protocols component and to more easily keep up-to-date with new OpenFlow versions. The OpenFlow drive is a module that any developer can use in a controller or switch to maintain compatibility among switches and controllers.ONF has expanded it research associates program, adding 9 new members to the roster, representing a dozen of the research communities most active SDN researchers. This advisory council will assist the ONF in advanced technical investigations of SDN. Support Services above OpenFlowThe Framework & Architecture WG will be publishing new documents to outline the OpenFlow FrameworkPart of that effort is to publish a study on NBI and make recommendations for the management layer above OpenFlowThe ONF is forming new relationships with the MEF, NFV, and other standards organizations to support the integration of SDN into Carrier Ethernet and Network Functions Virtualization. In addition, the ONF has extended the chargers of the Architecture & Framework working group and Config & Management to look more broadly at OAM requirements, both south bound and north bound. This includes efforts to catalog and publish North Bound APIs.Transition: Let’s look in more detail at the work in building on the OpenFlow foundation.