SAN JOSE, Calif. – Eighteen mainly large communications and software companies have created the Open Daylight Project in the Linux Foundation to develop open source code for software-defined networks (SDNs). The group will develop a wide range of software including an SDN controller and an applications interface for it with the first elements slated for release this fall.
SDN aspires to ease the job of programming large networks by abstracting details of network functions today expressed in many complex protocols and ASICs. Operators will then control network functions using applications and high-level programming languages running mainly on Linux servers.
The 11 founders consist mainly of established companies for which the move to SDN is a potentially disruptive influence. The founders are Big Switch Networks, Brocade, Cisco Systems, Citrix, Ericsson, IBM, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, NEC, Red Hat and VMware. Silver-tier members consist of Arista Networks, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, Nuage Networks (the new SDN unit of Alcatel-Lucent) and PlumGrid.
The group promises to build both north- and southbound application programming interfaces (APIs) for its SDN controller. It also plans to develop open source code for “a virtual overlay network, protocol plug-ins and switch device enhancements,” according to its press statement.
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The group aims to deliver a full stack of SDN software including north- and southbound OpenFlow APIs.
Big Switch and Cisco separately will propose contributing at least some code from their SDN controllers to the project. IBM will submit an open-source version of its Distributed Overlay Virtual Ethernet (DOVE) technology as its initial contribution.
Arista, Brocade, Citrix and Ericsson are among other participants saying they will contribute code to the effort. A technical steering committee will evaluate all the contributions, selecting what will become part of Open Daylight releases.