Open Networking Foundation Approves OpenFlow 1.3.0

NTT Network Game Changer: OpenFlow & Software Defined Network (SDN)The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Software-Defined Networking (SDN), has announced the Board’s approval of OpenFlow 1.3.0, adding a number of updates to the standard for real-world deployment in wide-ranging environments. The release signifies the Foundation’s efforts to further increase the flexibility of the OpenFlow API. Also announced is approval of OF-Config 1.1 – the switch configuration protocol – for increased security, performance, and operational efficiency of OpenFlow switch deployments.


OpenFlow 1.3.0 was developed by the Extensibility Working Group of ONF, which is tasked with moving technical work forward and making OpenFlow more flexible to enable a rich set of features and broad set of implementations. The new version of the OpenFlow protocol includes support for:

·         IPv6 deployment that enables OpenFlow controllers to implement IPv6 RFCs and routing

·         Tunneling and logical port abstraction used in datacenters, virtualized private networks (VPN), and more

·         Provider Backbone Bridging (PBB), which is a lightweight tunneling standard used between datacenters

·         Quality of Service (QoS) through a new per-flow metering feature to precisely control the usage of the network bandwidth

·         Features that enable the controller to better select the information it gets from the switch with per-flow metering and per-connection event filtering


“ONF drives the specification update process to support ongoing commercialization of SDN and to address the key areas of development that member companies currently deploying OpenFlow are requesting,” said Justin Pettit, vice-chair, Extensibility Working Group, ONF. “OpenFlow 1.3.0 is vendor-neutral and includes input from ASIC vendors, switch vendors and controller vendors to help define a clean interface between switch and controller functions. This process encourages a single API and enables a marketplace that is not fragmented, ultimately creating better interoperability to drive commercialization.”


OF-Config 1.1 was also approved, which is an update for the configuration and management protocol for OpenFlow switches. The updated configuration protocol is an important aspect of the evolution of OpenFlow and includes capability discovery, tunnel configuration, error handling, and new security features. OF-Config 1.1 allows OpenFlow controllers and OpenFlow switches from different vendors to be easily deployed and managed in the same datacenter or network.


“The capabilities of some OpenFlow-enabled switches are ideal for big data applications in the data center while other OpenFlow-enabled switches are suited for mobility applications in service-provider networks,” said Deepak Bansal, chair, Configuration & Management Working Group, ONF. “OF-Config 1.1 automatically connects the right applications to the right OpenFlow enabled switches and enables the on-going configuration of the switches. As an industry standard, OF-Config 1.1 significantly reduces time-to-value for SDN by enabling automated deployment and configuration of OpenFlow environments at scale.”


“ONF continues to focus its technical work on the topics that are most important to the networking market,” said Dan Pitt, executive director, ONF. “OpenFlow brings market-defining value into the SDN eco-system. The approval of OpenFlow 1.3.0 and OF-Config 1.1 demonstrates the Foundation’s commitment to reducing time-to-value in real-world deployments where operational efficiency and managing complexity are primary concerns. We are eager for member companies to move forward with the implementation and deployment of these updates because doing so will allow processes to be defined ‘on the fly’ and deployed automatically, thus driving the commercialization of OpenFlow-based SDN for the benefit of customers.”

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