Oracle and Extreme Networks are the latest companies to join the vendor-driven OpenDaylight Project, which is developing an open-source platform for software-defined network and network-functions virtualization.
Also joining the group June 5 was supply-chain services firm Flextronics, bringing the total number of members in the consortium to 39. The numbers have more than doubled since April 2013, when Cisco Systems, IBM and 16 others announced the formation of OpenDaylight.
"Every day the OpenDaylight community is debating and iterating on what SDN and NFV should look like," OpenDaylight Executive Director Neela Jacques said in a statement. "This open-source approach means nothing is sacred, anything can be rewritten. Our main purpose is to benefit the industry-at-large, not any one vendor. More voices at the table means stronger debate and better code."
OpenDaylight is among a number of open-source industry consortiums—including the Open Networking Foundation—working on software-defined networking (SDN) and network-functions virtualization (NFV), which are aimed at helping organizations and service providers create more dynamic, automated and flexible network infrastructures to handle the always changing demands brought on by such trends as cloud computing, mobility, big data, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and the burgeoning Internet of things.
The group in February launched the initial software release of its open SDN platform, called Hydrogen. The next release, dubbed Helium, is due in the fall, according to OpenDaylight officials.
Oracle has been building out its SDN capabilities for more than a year, when it bought Xsigo in 2012. The giant software company continued its push in January when it announced plans to buy Corente, a company with expertise in SDN for wide-area networks (WANs). The company's Solaris 11.2 includes network virtualization and application-driven SDN capabilities, according to Markus Flierl, vice president of Oracle Solaris.
"For SDN to go mainstream the industry needs an open and common platform," Flierl said in a statement. "Tapping into OpenDaylight will enable us to extend the application-driven SDN capabilities in Oracle Solaris and allow customers to take advantage of a broad ecosystem of OpenDaylight-compatible networking devices and SDN applications."
Extreme officials also have been building out the company's SDN portfolio, from putting the OpenFlow SDN protocol into its switches to enabling SDN support in its ExtremeXOS operating system. In addition, the company in March unveiled a larger SDN architecture.
"The benefits of SDN go well beyond the data center, which is why a common platform like OpenDaylight is critical to the evolving IT industry," Eric Broockman, Extreme vice president and CTO, said in a statement. "Extreme Networks will contribute expertise in the areas of dynamic policy enforcement, WiFi and application analytics to the community."