The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is a consortium dedicated to the development and standardization of software-defined networking (SDN). SDN is an approach to networking in which flow control is decoupled from hardware and given to an application called a controller.
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The ONF's main objective is to foster a networking environment that will support OpenFlow, a protocol that allows a server to tell switches where to send packets. Technical specifications are developed by specialized working groups that convene once or twice a year.
The ONF cites several benefits of membership:
- Real-time participation in the evolution of concepts and programs.
- Collaboration with inventors, market leaders, and startups driving SDN and OpenFlow.
- Royalty-free access to OpenFlow.
- Frequent speaking engagements that can improve a member organization's market visibility.
ONF board members include Microsoft, Google, and Verizon. General members number in the dozens and include Cisco, Fujitsu, IBM, NEC, Samsung, and Hewlett-Packard.