Founding companies slash their membership to SDN organization.

Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading

April 6, 2015

3 Min Read
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."

Want to know more about SDN? Visit Light Reading's SDN Technology content channel.

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].

About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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