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Open Networking Foundation (ONF)

Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco

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.

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.

This was last updated in October 2012

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