Open Networking Foundation unveils certification program for OpenFlow

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Software-Defined Networking (SDN), has announced its OpenFlow Conformance Program that provides networking vendors an opportunity to demonstrate compliance with the OpenFlow specification, the first Software-Defined Networking (SDN) standard and a vital element of an open, SDN architecture.

An ONF Certificate of Conformance is the highest level of assurance available in the market today to validate compliance with a particular version of the OpenFlow specification. Vendors can earn an ONF Certificate of Conformance for networking hardware, including switches and routers, as well as network software.

“ONF member companies are at the forefront of SDN innovation and commercialization, and the ONF OpenFlow Conformance Program underscores an organization’s dedication to end users,” said Rick Bauer, technical program manager at ONF. “The program assures that the products purchased and implemented are deployment-ready for end users’ networking environments, as well as future-looking for compatibility with the increasing number of SDN solutions built on an OpenFlow foundation. The certified products deliver predictable results, reinforcing the end users’ overall confidence in the vendor.”

The ONF Certificate of Conformance provides significant benefits for both vendors and end users. Vendors with certified products affirm an organizational commitment to the OpenFlow specification and benefit from shortened development cycles, faster product deployment, and advance access to testing protocols through activities such as the ONF PlugFest program. End users gain confidence knowing the certified product is using current technology and is guaranteed to accurately implement the OpenFlow specification. 

ONF has selected the Indiana Center for Network Translational Research and Education (InCNTRE) as the first independent lab approved for ONF OpenFlow Conformance testing, and additional labs are currently in the accreditation process.

“We appreciate the unique partnership between InCNTRE and ONF and are honored to be selected as the first ONF-approved testing lab,” said Ron Milford, InCNTRE SDN lab director and vice chair of the ONF Testing and Interoperability Working Group. “We look forward to playing a continued role and engage more testing labs to help them become ONF-approved. We envision testing labs in every region around the world in the near future.”

To obtain an ONF Certificate of Conformance, vendors must contact an approved test lab, complete an application form, and work with the lab to define a mutually agreeable schedule for product delivery. Once the lab certifies that the product meets the ONF OpenFlow Conformance Test Specification requirements, the product is awarded an ONF OpenFlow Certificate of Conformance.