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SDN architectures

OpenFlow Taps the Brakes

The recent 1.3.0 release of the OpenFlow Switch Specification will be the last big revision for a while, as the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) gives vendors a chance to catch up.

"There were so many things the market needed beyond 1.0 and 1.1 that we wanted quickly to produce 1.2 and 1.3. Now that we have done so, we don't feel the need to keep cranking out new versions quite so fast," ONF Executive Director Dan Pitt tells Light Reading via email.

Important new features have included IPv6 support (in 1.2) and support for tunneling and quality of service (in 1.3). Big Switch Networks appears to be the first company making use of the tunneling part, as announced last week. (See Big Switch Opens Up Network Tunneling.)

The plan now is "making OpenFlow 1.3.x the anchor for this year," Pitt writes, meaning 1.3 will only get updated for bug fixes. "ONF decided to make the OpenFlow specification more of a stable target for implementers," he adds.

The pause might be welcome, as vendors have been scrambling to declare support for OpenFlow and software-defined networking (SDN) in general. Many are still working with OpenFlow 1.0 and haven't been ready to move to later versions. The 1.1 version, developed before the ONF took over the standard, isn't considered good enough for production usage, and version 1.2 just came out in December.

OpenFlow 1.0 does still have its bugs, Pitt notes, so the ONF plans to release OpenFlow 1.0.1 -- consisting of the 1.0 release plus an errata document. That should happen sometime this month or next, Pitt says.

For more

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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