About OpenFlow

OpenFlow is an emerging network technology that allows experimenters to change the behaviour of the network as part of the experiment. Using the OpenFlow protocol gives a remote controller the power to modify the behavior of network devices.

The OpenFlow approach separates control plane routing decisions, user plane forwarding engines and processing of individual flows (e.g. for firewalling, encryption, etc.). The data path portion still resides on the switch, while high-level routing decisions are moved to a separate controller. The OpenFlow Switch and Controller communicate via the OpenFlow protocol.

OpenFlow Specification was developed by the OpenFlow Consortium.

The OpenFlow Wiki lists the OpenFlow Releases. The current version is OpenFlow 1.1 with a release date of 28 February 2011.

In March 2011 the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting a new approach to networking called Software-Defined Networking (SDN) was founded. The ONF is now the home of the OpenFlow specification.

The OpenFlow 1.2 standard was approved by the ONF Board approved in December 2011 and is available to the public.


The OFELIA project has created a unique OpenFlow based experimental facility that allows researchers to not only experiment “on” a test network but to control and extend the network itself precisely and dynamically.

view video Ofelia - The story of the switch

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