5 Open Source Software Defined Networking Projects to Know


Throughout 2016, Software Defined Networking (SDN) continued to rapidly evolve and gain maturity. We are now beyond the conceptual phase of open source networking, and the companies that were assessing the potential of these projects two years ago have begun enterprise deployments. As has been predicted for several years, SDN is beginning to redefine corporate networking.

Market researchers are essentially unanimous on the topic. IDC published a study of the SDN market earlier this year and predicted a 53.9 percent CAGR from 2014 through 2020, at which point the market will be valued at $12.5 billion. In addition, the Technology Trends 2016 report ranked SDN as the best technology investment for 2016.

“Cloud computing and the 3rd Platform have driven the need for SDN, which will represent a market worth more than $12.5 billion in 2020. Not surprisingly, the value of SDN will accrue increasingly to network-virtualization software and to SDN applications, including virtualized network and security services. Large enterprises are now realizing the value of SDN in the datacenter, but ultimately, they will also recognize its applicability across the WAN to branch offices and to the campus network,” said Rohit Mehra, Vice President of Network Infrastructure at IDC.

The Linux Foundation recently announced the release of its 2016 report “Guide to the Open Cloud: Current Trends and Open Source Projects.” This third annual report provides a comprehensive look at the state of open cloud computing, and includes a section on unikernels. You can download the report now, and one of the first things to notice is that it aggregates and analyzes research, illustrating how trends in containers, unikernels, and more are reshaping cloud computing. The report provides descriptions and links to categorized projects central to today’s open cloud environment.

In this series, we are looking at various categories and providing extra insight on how the areas are evolving. Below, you’ll find several important SDN projects and the impact that they are having, along with links to their GitHub repositories, all gathered from the Guide to the Open Cloud:

Software-Defined Networking


Open Network Operating System (ONOS), a Linux Foundation project, is a software-defined networking OS for service providers that has scalability, high availability, high performance and abstractions to create apps and services. ONOS on GitHub


OpenContrail is Juniper Networks’ open source network virtualization platform for the cloud. It provides all the necessary components for network virtualization: SDN controller, virtual router, analytics engine, and published northbound APIs. Its REST API configures and gathers operational and analytics data from the system. OpenContrail on GitHub


OpenDaylight, an OpenDaylight Foundation project at The Linux Foundation, is a programmable, software-defined networking platform for service providers and enterprises. Based on a microservices architecture, it enables network services across a spectrum of hardware in multivendor environments. OpenDaylight on GitHub

Open vSwitch

Open vSwitch, a Linux Foundation project, is a production-quality, multilayer virtual switch. It’s designed for massive network automation through programmatic extension, while still supporting standard management interfaces and protocols including NetFlow, sFlow, IPFIX, RSPAN, CLI, LACP, and 802.1ag. It supports distribution across multiple physical servers similar to VMware’s vNetwork distributed vswitch or Cisco’s Nexus 1000V. OVS on GitHub


Open Platform for Network Functions Virtualization (OPNFV), a Linux Foundation project, is a reference NFV platform for enterprise and service provider networks. It brings together upstream components across compute, storage and network virtualization in order create an end-to-end platform for NFV applications. OPNFV on Bitergia

Learn more about trends in open source cloud computing and see the full list of the top open source cloud computing projects. Download The Linux Foundation’s Guide to the Open Cloud report today!