Intel Ups Investment in OpenDaylight SDN, NFV Effort

The chip maker, which sees SDN and NFV as growth areas in the data center, is now a Platinum member of the vendor-based consortium it helped found.


Intel, one of the founding members of the OpenDaylight Project, is increasing its commitment to the software-defined networking standards body.

Intel is joining such tech vendors as IBM, Cisco Systems, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Juniper Networks as a Platinum member of OpenDaylight, a move that increases the chip maker's financial backing of the group and includes the adding of an Intel official on the board of directors.

Other Platinum members include Brocade, Citrix Systems, Ericsson and Red Hat.

"Intel has been actively engaged in working with partners on a broad spectrum of technologies critical to the successful deployment of SDN and NFV and will imbue a new vibrancy in the OpenDaylight community," project Executive Director Neela Jacques said in a statement.

OpenDaylight is a vendor-led consortium with almost four dozen members that was launched last year to develop an open platform for software-defined networking (SDN) and network-functions virtualization (NFV). The founding members argued that having an open platform that all vendors could build upon—in similar fashion to how Linux grew—could help accelerate the adoption of SDN and NFV and enable tech companies to compete in software and services higher up the stack.

OpenDaylight, a project of the Linux Foundation, is one of several open-source projects aimed at the networking space, which is undergoing significant change with the rise of network virtualization technologies. SDN and NFV promise more agile, programmable and cost-effective networks by moving network intelligence—including the controller plan and various tasks, like load balancing and intrusion detection—from the underlying hardware and into software that can run on commodity hardware.

Established networking vendors like Cisco, Juniper and HP are rapidly expanding their SDN and NFV portfolios, while smaller companies are looking to gain traction in the fast-growing market.

Intel sees an opportunity in this space as it continues extending its reach in the data center beyond servers and into the storage and networking areas. Along with its work in OpenDaylight, the chip maker also has launched various products and reference architectures, backed such SDN vendors as Big Switch Networks and in September joined with Cisco, HP, AT&T and others in creating the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) project, another Linux Foundation project aimed at creating an open-source reference platform for NFV.

"The SDN controller is a key component in Intel's Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) reference architecture," Uri Elzur, SDN system architecture director at Intel, said in a statement. "By playing a larger role in a community of like-minded industry leaders through OpenDaylight, we aim to advance the capabilities, deployment, automation and agility of SDI for the benefit of our customers."

As part of Intel's increased investment in OpenDaylight, Elzur will join the group's board of directors and Intel Architect Rajeev Koodli will join OpenDaylight's Technical Steering Committee. Intel developers, who have been working in the OpenDaylight community since the beginning, will increase the resources they bring.

In September, OpenDaylight rolled out the second release of its software, dubbed Helium, which Jacques and other officials said comes with a deeper integration with OpenStack, the open-source cloud orchestration platform, as well as a new user interface, enhanced security and an easier installation process, among other improvements designed to make it more enterprise-ready.