10 Most important open source networking projects (Brandon Butler, Network World)

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There’s an open source insurgence happening in the networking industry.

Increasing demands on the network to scale to unprecedented levels and at the same time become more customized to specific use cases has led to the emergence of  open source projects to support them.

In many cases networking vendors are using these open source projects as the basis for enterprise networking products. In other cases, they are the core underlying technology for some of the largest networks in the world.

“Network transformation is moving into a phase of production-ready deployments,” says Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking at the Linux Foundation. “As that happens, we believe there’s a major disruption happening in open source networking, and it’s becoming a fundamental building block for next-generation IT and next-gen networks for carriers.”

Here are 10 of the most important open source projects in the networking industry.


FD.io stands for Fast Data – input/output, and it’s an open source project made up of various open source libraries all with the goal of accelerating data efficiency in networking. FD.io focuses on ensuring open source networking deployments have the highest throughput, lowest latency and most efficient IO services. There are a handful of focus areas for FD.io, including a Vector Packet Processing (VPP) project donated by Cisco, and others focused on hardware acceleration, programmability and integration with other systems. FD.io components are typically used in conjunction with other projects such as OpenDaylight, OpenNFV, and OpenStack. The components are designed to work on a variety of generic hardware, including x86, ARM and PowerPC. Platinum members of the FD.io project include Cisco, Ericsson and Intel.

More information on FD.io


The Open Networking Automation Platform, or ONAP, is the combination of two projects: ECOMP, which was donated by AT&T, and the Open-O Orchestration platform. ONAP is primarily targeted at providing an open source automation and orchestration platform for service providers, particularly telecommunication vendors, to run SDNs and offer virtual network functions. ONAP’s more than 10 million lines of code include processes for onboarding networks and network functions, orchestration, control, inventory and maintaining policy across the network.

More information on ONAP


Founded in 2013, this modular open source software defined networking (SDN) controller is housed within the Linux Foundation. It is fundamentally a series of software packages that users can use bits and parts of – or the whole thing – to create software controllers for their virtual networks. Many vendors use or support the open source code in their commercial SDN controllers, including Brocade, Ericsson, Serro and Inocybe. The OpenDaylight Foundation, which manages the development of the source code for the Linux Foundation, says there are 27 OpenDaylight User Groups around the world.

More information about OpenDaylight


Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is the idea of replacing networking applications that used to be in dedicated hardware, such as load balancers and firewalls, and implementing them as software. OPNFV’s goal is to create open source NFV components. OPNFV has created a reference NFV platform for companies to build and deploy NFV components on, with a goal of providing system-level integration. OPNFV has primarily been used by service providers and telecommunication vendors. AT&T, Cisco, Dell, Ericsson, HPE, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Juniper, Red Hat and SUSE are among the 53 member companies of the OPNFV project, which is housed within the Linux Foundation.

More information about OPNFV


Read the full article via Network World.

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