FAQ

  1. What is OpenDaylight?
  2. What is SDN? Why is this important?
  3. Who will lead the project? How will it be governed? 
  4. How are decisions made in this project?
  5. What license will the project use? Why was that decision made?
  6. How does one get elected to the TSC?
  7. How does one become a committer?
  8. Will all development be done in the open?
  9. Why was The Linux Foundation chosen to host this project?
  10. Is OpenDaylight only for Linux?
  11. Why does collaborative development and open source software make sense for this work?
  12. What technologies comprise the platform?
  13. Will companies be able to download and use OpenDaylight or will it have to be packaged with other components to use it?
  14. Will the framework support SDN in both the enterprise and in carrier networks? How?
  15. When will the code be available? For which “parts” of the platform?
  16. What kinds of products, applications can we expect to see as a result of this collaboration?
  17. Will the products developed on the framework also be open source?
  18. Will OpenDaylight provide testing and certification services?
  19. How will OpenDaylight prevent fragmentation?
  20. Will the group develop standards?
  21. How will OpenDaylight interact with OpenFlow?
  22. How do companies or organizations join? What does it cost?
  23. How do individuals contribute?
  24. Can you become a serious code contributor without giving money? What decision-making authority can you take on and can you be on the board?
  25. Is there an Advisory Board that end users, non-profits, or others can join to engage and offer advice, experiences using OpenDaylight or provide direction?
  26. Can end users and customers join?
  27. Is OpenDaylight only open to paying members?
  28. Will OpenDaylight sell commercialized SDN solutions?

1. What is OpenDaylight?

OpenDaylight is a collaborative, open source project to advance Software-Defined Networking (SDN).  OpenDaylight is a community-led, open, industry-supported framework, consisting of code and blueprints, for accelerating adoption, fostering new innovation, reducing risk and creating a more transparent approach to Software-Defined Networking.

2. What is SDN? Why is this important?

SDN enables users to program network layers, separating the control plane and data plane. By enabling programmability, SDN can enable users to optimize their network resources, increase network agility, service innovation, accelerate service time-to-market, extract business intelligence and ultimately enable dynamic, service-driven virtual networks. 

The networking industry is at a crossroads. Exploding levels of data, virtualized infrastructure and cloud computing leave users with tremendous demands on their networks and management resources.  To date approaches to virtualize the network layer and add programmability have left the industry fragmented making adoption complex. Leading vendors realize this cannot continue.

SDN presents both significant challenges and unlimited opportunities for the future of transferring information and communicating across the globe. The companies coming together understand that the best way to address this historical moment in their industry is to do it together. Collaborative open development and open source software are the driving force behind modern architectures and well recognized for accelerating technology innovation and adoption.

OpenDaylight will provide a common platform on top of which vendor products and services can be built, giving vendors the room to innovate and compete and provide users with the best solutions at a rapid pace.

3. Who will lead the project? How will it be governed?

The project does not have a “lead.” OpenDaylight’s operating model is based on other successful open source projects that have built an active open community.

OpenDaylight is open to anyone. Contributions can be made at a variety of levels, from code contribution and Technical Steering Committee and Board of Directors leadership, among others.  Developers can contribute code, get elected to the Technical Steering Committee, get voted onto the Board or help steer the project forward in any number of ways. Developers who are elected to the Technical Steering Committee or who participate as project leaders will provide leadership regarding the technical decisions and direction of OpenDaylight. A Board of Directors will manage business leadership for OpenDaylight including governance, marketing and operational decisions.

Technical decisions will be made similar to most other successful open source projects – based on the merits of the technical contribution and decided on by a community of developers who are senior experts in their field

4. How are decisions made in this project? 

Technical decisions will be made similar to most other successful open source projects – based on the merits of the technical contribution and decided on by a community of developers who are senior experts in their field Decisions will be made using processes that have become open source community best practices. The Board and the TSC will use common voting methodologies and ensure no single vendor or group establishes a controlling number of votes on the Board. Any one member regardless of their membership level is limited to at most 1 Board seat/vote.

5. What license will the project use? Why was that decision made?

OpenDaylight is structured and governed using open source best practices and is licensed under the Eclipse Public License – v 1.0 (EPL), which is a common choice for Java-based projects. The EPL is an approved open source license by the Open Source Initiative and considered a free software license by the Free Software Foundation. The license choice of EPL maximizes OpenDaylight’s license compatibility with the large ecosystem of libraries and 3rd party components that have already been released under the EPL license. Where necessary the Board may approve exceptions for other licenses.

6. How does one get elected to the TSC? 

OpenDaylight’s Technical Steering Committee will be composed of the Project Leaders from the core OpenDaylight projects. Each project will have one technical leader and that person will represent the project on the Technical Steering Committee. The Project Lead will be elected by vote from the committers in that project. If there is initially only one committer for a project, that person will be the Project Lead.

Further, the active committers for OpenDaylight will elect additional TSC members. TSC members will serve 1-year terms. If Platinum members are not otherwise represented by a project on the TSC, they will also get a seat.

7. How does one become a committer? 

Like most open source projects, active developers who contribute quality patches and enhancements are eligible to become committers. New committers will be selected by their peer committers with an approval from the TSC.

8. Will all development be done in the open? 

All OpenDaylight source code development will be done in the open. Some contributors or companies may choose to incubate and develop code internally and then contribute it openly later, which is fine as well, but the core project code will all be developed in the open for everyone to see and use under a standard OSI-approved EPL open source license.

9. Why was The Linux Foundation chosen to host this project?

As the host for the largest open source, collaborative development effort in history, The Linux Foundation Collaborative Projects offer blueprints for open source communities. Projects like OpenDaylight rely on essential collaborative and organizational frameworks from The Linux Foundation so the founders and developer community can focus on innovation and results.

10. Is OpenDaylight only for Linux?

Not at all. OpenDaylight is an open platform that can and will be used with many operating systems.

11. Why does collaborative development and open source software make sense for this work?

Collaborative development and open source software are proven strategies and assets for accelerating new technologies, technology adoption, evolution and deployments in highly complex, cutting-edge environments. The rapid iteration and broad visibility of open, community-driven activities are proven to result in faster technology releases and superior code development. The open source code establishes an open framework that all vendors can leverage and develop other value add components around.

12. What technologies comprise the platform?

OpenDaylight is focused on building an open, standards-based SDN controller platform that is suitable for deploying in a variety of production network environments. In addition to a modular controller framework, OpenDaylight is expected to include support for a number of standard and emerging SDN protocols, network services such as virtualization and service insertion, well-defined application APIs, and data plane elements including physical device interfaces and virtual switch enhancements.

13. Will companies be able to download and use OpenDaylight or will it have to be packaged with other components to use it?

OpenDaylight’s objective is to provide a fully functional SDN platform that can be deployed directly, without requiring other components.  The open source community and vendors will, however, be able to deliver add-ons and enhancements to OpenDaylight that provide additional value.

14. Will the framework support SDN in both the enterprise and in carrier networks? How?

Yes. With a variety of contributors to the project and with an open source approach, the framework is intended to provide the common building blocks to support a variety of applications. Further, any carriers or enterprise users are encouraged to join the OpenDaylight community and identify areas where they can contribute or help offer guidance.

15. When will the code be available? For which “parts” of the platform?

The first code release from OpenDaylight is scheduled for December 9, 2013.  For further details, please review the Simultaneous Release Plan.

16. What kinds of products, applications can we expect to see as a result of this collaboration?

As is the case with all open source software, the sky is the limit. What we know is that open source software and collaborative development produce the most innovation products in every market.

OpenDaylight will initially establish a framework and working code to enable developers, customers and users of OpenDaylight to automatically route network configuration without touching every network device, dynamically route traffic, balance traffic loads, more easily set and implement network policies and prioritize certain traffic.

Over time, it’s likely that we’ll see other applications emerge to facilitate other, innovative use cases for virtualized datacenters, application performance monitoring, and perhaps even security.

17. Will the products developed on the framework also be open source?

This is the sole discretion of each company. The intent of OpenDaylight is to employ collaborative, open source development to build and support an open source framework and codebase on top of which commercial products and services can be built. How each vendor adopts OpenDaylight and commercializes their own products will be an individual business decision for them, subject to the Eclipse Public License.

18. Will OpenDaylight provide testing and certification services?

Not initially at least. Down the road, this may change if the community adds projects or programs for testing and certification. The initial intent of OpenDaylight is to accelerate adoption of an open framework and open source codebase and thereby accelerate adoption of SDN.

19. How will OpenDaylight prevent fragmentation?

Many open source projects eventually see forks or spinoffs from the original codebase. Experimentation and innovation off of an open source codebase is common and encouraged. However, long term the open governance and open technical decision making structure employed by the OpenDaylight project should help minimize the need to do any significant fragmentation from the core project codebase. Further, OpenDaylight employs an OSI-approved open source license; the EPL requires any distributed modifications to the program also be licensed under the EPL. For more information on the EPL, see the Eclipse EPL FAQ

20. Will the group develop standards?

No. Open standards to support SDN are already in place and OpenDaylight will leverage these standards thanks to the collaboration of industry leaders such as the Open Networking Foundation. ONF’s OpenFlow is one example of an open SDN protocol supported and developed by an open community as customers. Others may be created in the future, and with an open source codebase, OpenDaylight is structured to adopt those standards and go wherever the community takes it.

21. How will OpenDaylight interact with OpenFlow?

OpenDaylight will include support for the OpenFlow protocol, but is also extensible to potentially support other emerging SDN open standards (e.g., I2RS, VxLAN, PCEP). There is widespread understanding across vendors, service providers, end customers, and researchers that, while OpenFlow is a useful protocol in many scenarios, SDN is not limited to OpenFlow or any single protocol.  OpenDaylight recognizes that successful SDN deployments will require capabilities beyond the current scope of any one protocol.  For example, customers may require service plane interfaces or control of storage networks, which may not be supported in certain protocols or outside the scope of intent for those protocols.  Hence, OpenDaylight is intended to be configurable to support a variety of SDN interfaces, including the OpenFlow protocol.

22. How do companies or organizations join? What does it cost?

OpenDaylight is an open source project and open to all. Developers can contribute at the individual level just like any other open source projects by getting involved and showing the technical merit of their contributions. There are many ways to participate, including contributing code, becoming a member or becoming an Associate member. Companies who want to help fund the project or take a more proactive role in OpenDaylight can become members at the Platinum, Gold and Silver levels. Individuals and open source projects can become Associate members for no cost. For more information, please view our Join page.

23. How do individuals contribute?

Individuals can start contributing today. There is no restriction on who or how anyone can participate. Visit our How to Participate page to learn more.

24. Can you become a serious code contributor without giving money? What decision-making authority can you take on and can you be on the board? 

Absolutely. In fact OpenDaylight welcomes individual code contributions over any financial contributions. Developers who wish to contribute code can earn committer status or be voted as a Project Leader and a member of the TSC or the TSC Board representative without any financial contribution at all. All that is required to increase your influence and decision-making authority is to earn the respect of your peer developers.

25. Is there an Advisory Board that end users, non-profits, or others can join to engage and offer advice, experiences using OpenDaylight or provide direction?

The intention is to establish an Advisory Board established shortly after launch. The Board for OpenDaylight will discuss establishing a group and a mechanism to engage a community of advisors who would be interested in participating. This will happen, but will take a short period of time to finalize after the project is announced. If you’re interested in participating as an Advisor, please Contact Us.

26. Can end users and customers join?

Absolutely – it’s encouraged. As other projects like Linux have proven over time, having users of the code involved improves and accelerates the code quality and responsiveness to market needs.

27. Is OpenDaylight only open to paying members? 

There is absolutely no requirement to pay anything to participate in OpenDaylight. This is an open source project and community open to anyone. Certain companies or organizations may want to contribute more and are encouraged to participate as paying members to help fund the projects efforts. However all interested individuals, companies or organizations are encouraged to participate in whatever way makes sense for them. For more information, visit www.opendaylight.org/developers/how-participate.

28. Will OpenDaylight sell commercialized SDN solutions?

No. OpenDaylight is a community project and will not offer commercial SDN solutions. For solutions based on OpenDaylight we encourage customers to contact commercial members.