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Avaya, H3C, 6Wind Join OpenDaylight SDN Effort

The three vendors bring to 35 the number of members of OpenDaylight, which was announced a year ago by Cisco, IBM and others.

Avaya and two other companies have joined the OpenDaylight Project, bringing to 35 the number of members in the vendor-driven effort to drive adoption of software-defined networking and network-function virtualization.

Membership in the project, which is being overseen by the Linux Foundation, has essentially doubled since April 2013, when Cisco Systems, IBM and 16 others announced OpenDaylight as a way to develop an open software-defined networking (SDN) platform.

Avaya, which is a global player in the networking and business communications fields, came aboard April 30, as did 6Wind and H3C Technologies. 6Wind makes packet-processing software aimed at improving performance on low-cost multi-core systems that run Linux, a key need for businesses looking to make the move to SDN and network-functions virtualization (NFV), according to company officials.

H3C sells a range of networking, security, wireless and management software products.

OpenDaylight is one of a number of open-source consortiums—such as the Open Network Foundation—working on SDN and NFV. The group in February announced the initial software release of its open SDN platform, dubbed Hydrogen, and is now working on the upcoming next release, which members are calling Helium.

The continued growth of the OpenDaylight Project is an indication of the desire within the industry to develop SDN and NFV in an open manner, according to OpenDaylight Executive Director Neela Jacques.

"There is a critical mass forming around open source and open systems in the networking industry," Jacques said in a statement. "People know openness is the right path forward for SDN and NFV and that it will pave the way for real innovation in IT."

Organizations and telecommunications vendors are looking to SDN and NFV to enable networks that are more programmable, automated, flexible and cost-efficient than traditional infrastructures, which are expensive and not dynamic enough in an age of such trends as cloud computing, big data and mobility.

SDN and NFV uncouple the network control plane and applications like load-balancing and firewalls from the underlying hardware and put it into software, creating a more dynamic and adaptable network. Network tasks that traditionally run on complex, expensive networking gear can now run on commodity servers.

The idea behind OpenDaylight is to create open platforms that all vendors can build upon, which organizers say will help speed up innovation and make it easier for end users to adopt SDN and NFV.