Supported by InCNTRE at Indiana University

SDN Lab Affiliation

Open Networking Foundation   |    GlobalNOC

The Open Networking Foundation

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is a non-profit consortium dedicated to the transformation of networking through the development and standardization of a unique architecture called Software-Defined Networking (SDN).  Software Defined Networking brings direct software programmability to networks worldwide. The mission of the Foundation is to commercialize and promote SDN and the underlying technologies as a disruptive approach to networking that will change how virtually every company with a network operates.

The Executive Director of InCNTRE, Steven Wallace, the InCNTRE Director, Martin Swany, the Associate Director of the InCNTRE SDN Lab, Ron Milford, and one of InCNTRE’s senior test engineers, Uwe Dahlmann, are all academic associates with the ONF and active technical contributors to the ONF’s Testing and Interoperability Working Group.

The InCNTRE SDN Lab is the first official conformance-testing lab certified by the ONF. InCNTRE’s focus is not only providing conformance testing for device vendors, but also playing an active role in defining the set of test cases used in the conformance program. InCNTRE does this by participating in the Testing and Interoperability workgroup of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). Based on our testing experiences,  feedback is given to the ONF to enhance the test specifications along with scope and understanding of the OpenFlow specification itself.  Our work targets three main audiences: 

  • Vendors:  Aiding the development of stable and mature specifications and implementations for SDN system components. Helping vendors to test and verify their products in a neutral, third party facility. Providing switch and controller vendors with a way to achieve conformance verification in a smooth and fast process. 
  • The ONF: Assisting the ONF in developing complete and meaningful test case specification. Providing feedback on real life experience for the test plan and specification development. 
  • Users: Making the SDN technology and ecosystem a success by validating implementations so the ONF can provide a meaningful seal of conformance that users can trust. Providing a clear picture of the capabilities of tested devices and solutions.

Ron Milford serves as vice-chair to the ONF Testing & Interoperability Working Group. As vice-chair, Ron leads discussions and work in many areas of Conformance, Interoperability and Performance testing. He is instrumental in writing test specifications and developing the ONF Conformance Testing program. Ron planned, hosted and ran ONF Interoperability Events (PlugFests) at the InCNTRE SDN Lab in October 2012 and June 2013. He also has written the technical documents resulting from each of the ONF PlugFest events. Through the Testing & Interop Working Group, Ron contributes his experiences in the lab directly back to the ONF.

For more information about the InCNTRE – ONF affiliation, see the ONF website:



InCNTRE and the SDN lab are closely aligned with the Gobal Research Network Operations Center (GlobalNOC) at Indiana University.  The GlobalNOC is a world-class network management organization supporting more than 20 research and education networks of international, national, regional and enterprise scale, including Internet2 and NOAA’s N-Wave network. Aligning the SDN Lab with the GlobalNOC organization provides opportunities for collaboration with the experienced engineers who operate many large, cutting-edge research and education networks including Internet2 who has one of the first nationwide OpenFlow networks supporting production traffic.  The controller software for Internet2’s production OpenFlow network is being developed by the GlobalNOC engineers.


For more information about GlobalNOC including their services and supported networks, please visit their webpage.

SDN Lab Links


The InCNTRE SDN Lab has been a leader in planning and supporting ONF Interoperability “PlugFest” events, the most recent of which was hosted at the InCNTRE SDN Lab in October 2012. This week-long event included over 50 participants from 18 vendors.


The October PlugFest put over 50 switches, controllers, applications and test frameworks under test- distributed over four parallel test beds. Twelve test plans and additional ad-hoc test cases were executed at least once covering OpenFlow 1.0, 1.2, OFConfig and a variety of testing frameworks.

More Information

For more information about our PlugFest events please contact the SDN Lab.