Open Networking Foundation

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Open Networking Foundation
FormationMarch 21, 2011 (2011-03-21)
Type501(c)(6) NPO
PurposeOpen Source networking software and Software Defined Standards
Executive Director
Guru Parulkar[1] Edit this at Wikidata

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is an operator led consortium spearheading disruptive network transformation. Now the recognized leader for open source solutions for operators, the ONF first launched in 2011 as the standard bearer for Software Defined Networking (SDN). Led by its operator partners AT&T, China Unicom, Comcast, Deutsche Telekom, Google, and Turk Telekom. The ONF is driving vast transformation across the operator space. By working closely with network operators and other stakeholders, the ONF has achieved significant momentum with 200 partners, members, and collaborators.

By using a unique and curated open source business model aimed at promoting networking through software-defined networking (SDN) and standardizing the OpenFlow protocol and related technologies.[2] The standards-setting and SDN-promotion group was formed out of recognition that cloud computing will blur the distinctions between computers and networks.[3] The initiative was meant to speed innovation through simple software changes in telecommunications networks, wireless networks, data centers and other networking areas.[4]

By December 31, 2013, the organization had 123 member companies. By June 2020 ONF had grown to over 200 member companies. Member companies include networking-equipment vendors, semiconductor companies, computer companies, software companies, telecom service providers, hyperscale data-center operators, and enterprise users.

Google's adoption of OpenFlow software was discussed by Urs Hölzle at a trade show promoting OpenFlow in April, 2012.[5][6] Hölzle is the chairman ONF's board of directors, serving on the board along with representatives of the other five founding board members plus NTT Communications and Goldman Sachs. Stanford University professor Nick McKeown and U.C. Berkeley professor Scott Shenker also serve on the board as founding directors representing themselves.[1]

The ONF launched a continuous certification program for products and equipment in the telecom and networking space. As part of certification, the Open Compute Project (OCP) is collaborating with ONF in this new program to promote the use of OCP-recognized open hardware in ONF solutions.

In 2017 the ONF completed its merger with the Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab).[7] The resulting entity retained the ONF name in 2017.[8]

In 2018 the ONF established its Technical Leadership Team (TLT) which is responsible for technical strategy and direction of the ONF community including defining and accepting new projects, setting priorities among projects, creating a reference design team and assembling resources.

In 2019 the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) announced the public release of three Reference Designs (RD’s): SEBA, Trellis and ODTN.[9]

In 2020 T-Mobile Poland Announced with the ONF that it had achieved production roll-out of OMEC, the ONF’s Open Source Mobile Evolved Packet Core [10]

In 2020 the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) announced the release of Aether, the first open source platform for 5G, LTE and edge as a cloud services.[11]


  1. ^ a b ONF overview, ONF webpage. Retrieved 2014-01-13.
  2. ^ "Open Networking Foundation Formed to Speed Network Innovation". Press release. Open Networking Foundation. March 21, 2011. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  3. ^ John Markoff (March 22, 2011). "Open Networking Foundation Pursues New Standards". New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  4. ^ ComputerWorld: “Google and other titans form Open Networking Foundation.” Noyes, March 23, 2011.
  5. ^ Levy, Steven, "Going With the Flow: Google’s Secret Switch to the Next Wave of Networking", Wired, April 17, 2012. Retrieved 2017-09-12.
  6. ^ "April 2012 Open Networking Summit". April 17, 2012. Archived from the original on January 24, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  7. ^ "Open Networking Foundation and ON.Lab to Merge to Accelerate Adoption of SDN - Open Networking Foundation". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  8. ^ "Open Networking Foundation Unveils New Open Innovation Pipeline to Transform Open Networking". Press release. Linux Foundation. February 14, 2017. Archived from the original on September 5, 2017. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  9. ^ "ONF Releases First Reference Designs". Press release. ONF. April 4, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  10. ^ "ONF". Press release. T-Mobile Poland Achieves Production Roll-out of OMEC Open Source Mobile Evolved Packet Core. March 3, 2020. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  11. ^ "ONF". Press release. ONF unveils Aether, the first open source platform for 5G, LTE and edge as a cloud services. January 8, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.

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