Enterprise networkers have organized: Here are their demands

The user group ONUG is pushing for four new software-defined networking technologies

A user group for enterprise IT managers is taking on software-defined networking, calling for new technologies they say would better serve enterprise needs.

On Tuesday, the Open Networking User Group (ONUG) announced initiatives behind four technologies that it says would help enterprises build and run their networks better.

There’s no shortage of platforms and protocols for software-defined infrastructure, including things like OpenFlow, OpenStack and ONOS (Open Network Operating System). But they were developed around the needs of vendors and service providers more than of enterprises, ONUG founder Nick Lippis said. His group wants to push along a few more pieces that aren’t there yet.

The four initiatives, announced at ONUG’s semi-annual conference in Mountain View, California, are the first such efforts from the three-year-old organization. Its members include IT executives from Bank of America, Credit Suisse, FedEx, General Electric and other companies.

ONUG doesn’t want to be a standards body, so it will look to others to actually develop the technologies. If none can do it, ONUG will form a new kind of organization to carry out the ideas, said Lippis, a longtime industry analyst. If a vendor runs with one of the ideas and builds a product, that works, too, he said. ONUG members just want the technology.

SDN (software-defined networking) has been around since 2009 and found its way into some major products and some enterprise and carrier implementations. SD-WAN, a variant for wide-area networks, is expected to grow quickly in the next few years.

Both place more control of infrastructure into software, which can bring new capabilities and let less expensive commodity hardware take the place of proprietary gear.

Enterprises haven’t yet flocked to these technologies en masse. One reason is that some key components don’t exist yet, according to ONUG.

Here’s what the group wants to see:

1. an Open SD-WAN Exchange (OSE) to allow multiple SD-WANs to behave virtually as one. SD-WANs are meant to simplify management of diverse connections to remote data centers and branch offices. But these unifying systems don’t have a common way to communicate among themselves. If two companies with SD-WANs merge, for example, they’ll end up with separate WANs, Lippis said.

2. an Open Interoperable Control Plane (OICP) so a software-defined network can smoothly tie together parts of a data center that are built on different architectures, like VMware vCenter and OpenStack. The OICP would be an overlay, so it wouldn’t modify switches.

3. an Open Traffic Management Format (OTMF) for taking data from all physical and virtual network devices and steering it into analytical software. Today, it’s hard to gauge the effects of system failures. “There are different kinds of management systems that a network operator needs to look at in order to decipher it. And they have to decipher it in their head,” Lippis said.

4. an Open Network State Format (ONSF) for information about the state of network devices, such as whether they’re connected and how much energy they’re drawing. ONSF would let administrators treat network management as a big-data problem, Lippis said. “Right now, it is total guesswork.” This format could help startups like Veriflow build comprehensive management systems, he said.

ONUG will hold four workshops over the next few months where enterprise IT people, vendors and academics can further define the proposals and decide where they should be carried out. That might mean the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), OCP (Open Compute Project) or other organizations, Lippis said. “We know no one’s working on these problems.” ONUG hopes to see proof-of-concept implementations of the proposed technologies about a year from now.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Taking cybersecurity to the highest level and order now for a special discount on the world’s most awarded and trusted cybersecurity. Be aware without a care!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?