Open vSwitch (OVS) has come under the direction of the Linux Foundation, bringing another major open source networking project under the umbrella of the group already overseeing projects like OPNFV and OpenDaylight.
OVS is a platform for virtual network switching. That means it provides the functionality that servers need in order to mimic physical switches within a virtualized environment, saving organizations from having to purchase costly dedicated switching hardware. The project is governed by an Apache license.
OVS has operated as an independent open source project since its founding in 2009. This week, however, it became a Linux Foundation project, bringing it under the governance model of other major open source networking initiatives that have already joined the Linux Foundation.
The Linux Foundation says the move will help advance OVS development while also assuring the future of an important open source project. "OVS is a great example of how open source software has enabled the networking industry to match the pace of cloud computing and help advance virtualized technologies," said Jim Zemlin, executive director, The Linux Foundation. "Hosting OVS as a Linux Foundation Project will serve to further collaboration across users and vendors and aid in open technology development throughout the networking stack."
The channel is welcoming the news, too. IBM's Director of Open Source Networking, Kyle Mestery, called OVS "a critical piece of technology to help developers and their businesses move to a software defined and cloud development world" and said the Linux Foundation's guidance will help to accelerate "adoption efforts even more through open collaboration."
VMware and Cisco, despite developing commercial virtualization and networking products, also celebrated the change. "Giving OVS a formal home within the Linux Foundation is a great way to ensure continued investment and community participation in this important open source project," said Bruce Davie, Chief Technology Officer, Networking, VMware, Inc.
Thomas Graf, Cisco's Principal Software Engineer, said "the Linux Foundation will make for an excellent umbrella for the highly collaborative OVS project with a community-based technical leadership model similar to the Linux kernel."
For the open source ecosystem as a whole, OVS's transition to being a Linux Foundation project underlines how central a role the Linux Foundation is now playing in directing the development of major enterprise-grade networking platforms. Again, the organization, which was founded in 2007 primarily to oversee development of the Linux kernel, has already taken the reins of several other open source networking projects. OVS adds another important niche -- multilayer network switching -- to the group's purview.