The Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) has published version 2.0 of its master usage model on software-defined networking (SDN).Updated to take into account recent changes in the fast-moving SDN marketplace, this version looks at two related sets of network-management technologies — SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV). It also includes five new usage scenarios and outlines best practices for developing comprehensive network-management solutions. SDN solutions, which are expected to grow to more than $2 billion by 2018 (source: Gigaom), are critical to enterprise deployments of infrastructure required for cloud services.

The usage model was delivered with the support of three industry groups: ETSI, Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and TM Forum. As the primary standards bodies for NFV and SDN respectively, ETSI and ONF’s feedback on this paper affirms that the ODCA is aligned with relevant standards development organizations and prepared for future collaboration. The new usage scenarios were previewed in a proof of concept demonstration at TM Forum Live last month.

"The cooperation between ODCA, ETSI, ONF and TM Forum not only reflects the current state of the SDN and NFV markets, it also moves the cloud computing industry one step closer to the creation and deployment of solutions that are open, multi-vendor and interoperable," said Chris Swan, CTO of CohesiveFT and former chair of the ODCA Infrastructure Work Group. "By working with leading standards organizations, ODCA requirements can be best aligned with standards under development today and influence the direction of standards delivery in the near future."

Anchored by the updated SDN master usage model, the ODCA will host a workshop at its Forecast 2014 conference focused on deployment of cloud networks using Infrastructure as a Service. The workshop will be led by Chris Swan, and participants will gain hands-on experience implementing and managing cloud networks using self-service tools in a public cloud. Forecast will be held September 22-24 in San Francisco. More details on sessions, speakers and registration are available here.

ODCA usage models further the Alliance’s vision of a simpler, more secure, more efficient path to cloud computing by documenting the most pressing challenges and needed solutions for cloud deployment. Each usage model describes the specific technology and service requirements for deploying a different cloud computing scenario and identifies where open standards need to be met. All of the ODCA’s usage models are available for free download here.