Linux Foundation Seeks Open Source Networking Collaboration

The Linux Foundation, said to host nine of the top 10 open source networking projects, is seeking to foster collaboration among those disparate offerings with a new "administrative structure" called the LF Networking Fund.

As modern networking approaches such as software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) have taken off, new disruptive technology projects have gravitated toward the equally burgeoning open source movement, challenging the proprietary, monolithic, hardware-based old guard approach.

Starting with OpenDaylight, many leading projects incorporating SDN, NFV, network automation, orchestration and so on have moved under the direction of The Linux Foundation. Along with OpenDaylight, it now hosts five other founding projects of the new LF Networking Fund (LFN): Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP); Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV); (Fast data – Input/Output); Streaming Network Analytics System (; and the Platform for Network Data Analytics (PNDA).

The LFN will try to improve how these and other projects work together.

"In the four years since OpenDaylight kicked off the open source networking revolution, innovative groups of developers from a range of backgrounds have developed open source offerings at every layer of the stack," the Foundation said in a Jan. 23 post. "It is now time to provide avenues for greater collaboration between those projects, as well as related projects and communities across the ecosystem. Therefore, we are creating a combined administrative structure, The LF Networking Fund ("LFN"), a platform for cross-project collaboration."

According to its Foundation site, the LFN seeks to integrate the governance of the aforementioned participating projects in order to improve operational efficiencies and simplify member engagement.

"LFN will form the basis of collaboration across the network stack, from the data plane into the control plane, to orchestration, automation, end-to-end testing, and more," the Foundation said. Some of the "platinum" members (of a total of 83 member organizations) of the new initiative include AT&T, IBM, Intel, Juniper Networks, Cisco Systems, Verizon, VMware and many more.

The Foundation said the LFN will try to bring cohesion to networking communities by following the example of its Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

"What we can expect to see under this shared governance model is increased community collaboration focused on building a shared technical investment (without risk of fragmentation), while also providing space for inter-project architectural dependencies to flourish (e.g., multi-VIM collaboration, VNF onboarding, etc.)," the Foundation said.

"In addition, LFN enhances operational efficiency among existing communities by enabling projects to share development and deployment best practices and resources such as test infrastructure, and to collaborate on everything from architectural integration to industry event participation."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.


Subscribe on YouTube