SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente

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Open Networking Foundation Announces “OpenFlow Driver” Contest Winner

OPEN NETWORKING SUMMIT – The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the adoption of open Software-Defined Networking (SDN), today announced the winner of the industry’s first competition to create an open-source "OpenFlow™ Driver.” The judges voted unanimously to award Brazil-based CPqD the grand prize of $50,000, naming Flowgrammable’s and Infoblox’s submissions as runners-up.

“All of the competition submissions displayed great technical precision and deserve a round of applause for their efforts,” said Rick Bauer, technical program manager of the Open Networking Foundation. “The OpenFlow Driver developed by CPqD met the judges’ guidelines including compliance with the OpenFlow specification, integration of multiple programming languages, performance, and scalability of the code, among other criteria. ONF is energized by the success of this competition, and we look forward to seeing what people do with this code now that it’s posted.”

The competition, announced in mid-2013, was a call to action for the worldwide development community to create an interoperable open-source implementation of the latest OpenFlow standard (targeted at controllers but also extendable to switches). ONF’s intention for the competition was to encourage innovation, producing an OpenFlow driver that everyone from network equipment vendors and ISVs to operators and larger open-source projects can use for transitions between different implementations of the OpenFlow protocol.

“We want developers to focus on cool SDN tools and applications rather than the mechanics of OpenFlow’s format and protocol,” said Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation. “We want this driver to serve as a utility for software innovators.”

"We are pleased that the OpenFlow Driver our team developed was chosen by the judges as the overall winner in this tough competition,” said Allan Vidal, researcher at CPqD. “The team worked hard to develop a driver that was technically advanced and looks forward to making it a thriving open source project.”

The CPqD OpenFlow Driver development team consists of Eder Fernandes and Allan Vidal, both researchers at CPqD. The team’s technical advisors were Marcos Salvador, now SDN evangelist and R&D leader at National Research and Education Network (RNP), and Christian Rothenberg, now assistant professor at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP). The OpenFlow Driver developed by CPqD is available in the ONF GitHub repository for use by both members and non-members. CPqD will be using the driver in its upcoming SDN platform, and this award is regarded as an important step in its strategy towards providing SDN solutions to markets worldwide.

Each competition submission was examined by a panel of seven judges, all with notable experience in software, systems, and SDN architectures from both research and corporate perspectives. The submissions also underwent conformance testing for OpenFlow 1.0 and 1.3. The testing was facilitated by ONF member company Luxoft, who was able to provide a team of engineers and product experts who delivered key resources to support the rigorous testing the judges needed but was beyond the judges’ individual resources.

"Luxoft is thankful to ONF for availing our SDN products and professional services during driver competition evaluation," said Ash Bhalgat, senior director, SDN products at Luxoft USA, Inc. "We were especially pleased with our ability to design a test harness using Luxoft's open source and extensible Twister framework and comprehensive OpenFlow 1.3 test suite, to evaluate submitted driver code entries on the basis of open flow conformance, interoperability, extensibility and overall code quality. We are very delighted that the extensive evaluation we provided has helped the jury in selecting a winner for this competition."

CPqD, Flowgrammable, and Infoblox will be recognized for their accomplishments in a special presentation at the ONF Member Workday on March 6, a members-only event taking place in Santa Clara, Calif.

About ONF

Launched in 2011 by Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, and Yahoo!, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is a growing nonprofit organization with more than 120 members whose mission is to accelerate the adoption of open SDN. ONF promotes open SDN and OpenFlow technologies and standards while fostering a vibrant market of products, services, applications, customers, and users. For further details visit the ONF website at: http://www.opennetworking.org.

About CPqD

CPqD is an independent institution focused on innovation in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The solutions developed by CPqD are used overseas and in Brazil by the country’s leading communication and multimedia, financial, utilities, industries, and defense and security sectors. With more than 37 years of experience, CPqD employs more than 1,300 highly qualified and creative professionals, who are committed to advanced levels of quality and excellence. Today, CPqD has the largest and most important R&D program in Latin America in their segment, striving to make the country more competitive and advance digital inclusion, supplying the market with product technologies, mission-critical systems, technological and consulting services to increase business efficiency and across-the-board competitiveness of companies large and small, as well as leveraging entrepreneurship in Brazil.

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