SDN Technology

Juniper, VMware Step Back From OpenDaylight

Juniper and VMware, two founding members of OpenDaylight, have both downgraded their membership to a bare sliver of where they were before.

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), previously a Platinum member, and VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW), previously Gold, last week decided to downgrade to Silver membership.

As a Platinum sponsor, Juniper previously contributed $500,000 annually and 10 full-time equivalent staff, and held a seat on both the Technical Steering Committee and board.

As a Gold sponsor, VMware contributed $250,000 and three FTEs.

Now, both companies are Silver sponsors, contributing $20,000 and no staff commitment at all.

It seems likely that both companies are dumping OpenDaylight , and see $20,000 as payment to avoid drawing attention to that retreat.

In email statements to Light Reading, VMware and Juniper both said OpenDaylight is one of many organizations in which their companies are involved. Not exactly ringing endorsements.

OpenDaylight Project executive director Neela Jacques credited the two companies' "financial contributions" as "crucial to helping the project get off the ground."

He added that Juniper's primary technical contribution has been a plug-in to Juniper's Contrail technology, and the company has been "a constructive presence" on the board of directors and Technical Steering Committee.

As for VMware, OpenDaylight found its Open vSwitch and Open vSwitch Database hugely useful "and hopes to continue collaborating closely with those teams as well as the VMware led OpenStack Congress team," Jacques said.

He added: "In both cases the companies have significant investments in their own projects and technologies in the SDN space, and have decided it makes more sense to focus their efforts there at this time. I understand and respect their decision and am grateful for their contributions to date."

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Big projects like OpenDaylight see individual supporters come and go, Jacques said. Currently, more than 350 developers have contributed code, with nearly 50 corporate members, up from 18 at launch two years ago, and 1,000 people participating in user groups.

In 2013, Big Switch, an Open Daylight founder and Platinum sponsor, pulled out of the organization. (See Big Switch Pulls Back from OpenDaylight and OpenDaylight Project Founded.)

OpenDaylight is starting to get heat from other organizations. ON.Lab produces open source technology very similar to OpenDaylight's, and while the two organizations talk friendly, it sounds strained. And now Juniper and VMware seem to be going their own way. It's the kind of pressure organizations face when they become successful -- which is good for OpenDaylight and its supporters -- but it can also be dangerous because it raises the possibility that OpenDaylight will lose support and momentum. (See ON.Lab Aims to Make White Boxes Carrier-Grade and ON.Lab Intros Open Source SDN OS.)

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected]

Mitch Wagner 4/14/2015 | 2:49:00 PM
Re: Momentum Could just be churn, signifying little long-term. It's something to keep an eye on but not to get alarmed about on ODL's behalf. 
danielcawrey 4/6/2015 | 5:05:55 PM
Momentum This is dangerous territory when big supporters start backing away. 

Let's hope this does not get worse – although based on the information at hand I am not entirely optimistic. 
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