Open Networking Foundation, ON.Lab merge, set focus on accelerating SDN adoption

Global data network. Image: Pixabay

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab), two organizations focused on driving SDN adoption, have agreed to merge under the ONF name, driving the next phase of cooperation to drive network virtualization.

Guru Parulkar, On.Lab founder and executive director, will lead the new ONF organization.

Until the combination of the Open Networking Foundation and ON.Lab is completed in late 2017, the groups will maintain the integrity of both organizations and separate but closely affiliated operations.

Upon completion ONF will maintain its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, where both ONF and ON.Lab are already co-located. The combined organization’s open source software development work will be jointly led by Larry Peterson, chief architect of ON.Lab, and Bill Snow, vice president of engineering at ON.Lab. Rick Bauer, ONF’s interim executive director, will now serve as ONF’s head of standards.

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Driven by large carriers like AT&T and CenturyLink, a recent Allied Market Research report revealed that the SDN market is expected to reach $132.9 billion by 2022.

A combined ONF and ON.Lab will chart the next phase of SDN, helping owners and operators of large networks reduce their capital and operational costs and assist them in more easily creating and deploying new services.

“A unified organization enables software to inform new standards and help drive much faster adoption of SDN,” said Andre Fuetsch, ONF Board member and president of AT&T Labs and CTO of AT&T, in a release.

Upon completing this merger, the two organizations will bring together the operations, membership, budget and employees of both organizations, including ONF’s 110 member companies and ON.Lab’s ecosystem of more than 70 companies and 17 partners.

ONF will be governed by an interim board of directors through the end of 2017, which will be comprised of one delegate elected by the ONF membership and additional delegates from AT&T, Google, and NTT Communications. SK Telecom will represent CORD on this interim board and Verizon will represent ONOS. The interim board will also include ONF Co-Founder Nick McKeown; current ONF board member and Princeton University Professor, Dr. Jennifer Rexford; and Dr. Guru Parulkar.

When ONF announces a board next year it will be comprised of one member at large elected by the ONF membership and two project members representing each of the large open source software projects, ONOS and CORD. ONF said project members will be chosen by the ONOS board and CORD board from their group of service provider partners. A total of six additional governing directors will be elected by the interim board. The ONOS and CORD project boards and governance will remain unchanged.