SDN holds the promise of creating more scalable, flexible, automated and cost-efficient networks that can dynamically adapt to the rapid changes in modern data centers. Every major networking vendor is building out their SDN and NFV offerings, while a growing group of startups also are looking to gain traction in the space.
Industry observers expect the SDN market to grow significantly over the next few years—Infonetics Research analysts forecast it to hit $3.1 billion by 2017. However, while SDN is drawing interest from organizations, it will take awhile for adoption to ramp up, according to a survey conducted by QuinStreet Enterprise, which publishes eWEEK.
The OpenDaylight Project is not the only industry group to sprout up around SDN. The Open Networking Forum (ONF) has been working on developing standards around SDN, and also is expanding its membership by creating a category for startups. OpenDaylight's Jacques said his group is working with others in the industry, and noted that many of OpenDaylight's members also belong to other groups.
These groups are complementary, with a difference being that groups like the ONF are focused on developing standards for SDN, while the OpenDaylight Project's efforts are more around creating code.
"That is not to say that releasing code is necessarily more important than identifying standards and ensuring interoperability; there is, in fact, a place for both," Michael Bushong, vice president of marketing at Plexxi, a member of both OpenDaylight and ONF, wrote in a post on the company blog. "But the path to widely adopted standards will be made meaningfully easier if the industry can collaborate on the code that supports those standards. It creates a common sandbox, forged in an open source community and supported across an array of vendor devices, in which new technologies can be developed, tested, and ultimately adopted or discarded. Standardization requires experimentation, and OpenDaylight is providing the most fertile laboratory in the industry."
Along with Hydrogen, OpenDaylight also announced that two vendors—ConteXtream and Qosmos—are joining the group.