OSSDN FAQ

What is the licensing model for OSSDN?

The OSSDN model will be strictly modeled on the Apache 2.0 license, published by the Apache Foundation. More information about Apache 2.0 is found here.

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How do I join OSSDN, and subscribe to its various mailing lists?

OSSDN is in the process of setting up mailing lists and personal accounts. Please check back with us soon for more information about how to join.

How do I initiate an open source SDN software project to be hosted on OSSDN?

OSSDN does not generally fund every project that it receives, but rather provides a forum for code developers, either within or outside of networking companies, or other organizations to develop software on their own. A short project description form is required to be completed, and a response is normally given within 48 hours.

What is the relationship between ONF and OSSDN?

OSSDN is sponsored by ONF. ONF supplies headcount, monetary support for the maintenance and development of the community, and the hiring of a community manager. ONF is the sole provider of support for all the activities of OSSDN at the present moment, although additional sources of revenue and/or sponsorship opportunities are being evaluated.

What is the governance model of OSSDN?

OSSDN is governed, as much as possible, in a meritocratic manner, at the software project level of the organization. In other words, decisions about a particular project are made,as much as is possible, at the project level for that particular open source project. For a closer understanding of decision-making at the software project level, please see our Governance page.

At the managerial level, ONF pays for a community manager to manage all of the projects on the OSSDN website. This management is more a ‘guide on the side’ than directional or executive in nature. Projects that need assistance, resources, or who want to plan events and other activities will find help from the OSSDN manager.

At the executive level, the OSSDN develops policies and light governance from the Software Leadership Council (SLC), a group of luminaries (both ONF and non-ONF members) with experience in open source software, software development, and community development. These policies (for example, committers agreement, licensing, and budget requests to ONF) are developed collaboratively among OSSDN projects, with most decisions being kept at the OSSDN level. In short, governance is OSSDN is light, as unobtrusive as possible, and exists mainly as a resources for projects who need more guidance or assistance.

How are the projects, events, and support of OSSDN funded?

ONF has detailed budgets for the ongoing support of the technical infrastructure, and also lends its other resources (event management, communications, public relations, etc.), as well as some staffing to the OSSDN effort. Additionally, several projects that have been sponsored initially by ONF as catalyst projects have some financial support to them. The goal, however, is to provide simply a venue where the best collaborations between companies, coders, and related organizations can take place. OSSDN has an evaluation process for new projects that would require funding, but the preference is toward supporting projects that have companies or coders already behind them.

What is the intellectual property policy of OSSDN with respect to ONF's IP policy?

As these two policies detail, there is a process within ONF for licensing intellectual property related to SDN under Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (RAND) terms, but with a zero cost to ONF members. This policy is often described as RAND-Z, and allows ONF member companies the ability to leverage their ONF membership, create products leveraging ONF IP and the OpenFlow’ specification, and bring those to market with a minimum of legal wrangling and IP uncertainty.

With the case of Open Source software, OSSDN has consciously chosen to model its licensing for all open source projects on the Apache 2.0 licensing model, published by the Apache Foundation. The license allows for collaborative development, protection of author copyrights, but protections for those commercial enterprises who may take a copy of OSSDN software and embed that software into a commercial product (so called ‘forking’ of an open source code base). For further details of open source licensing matters, please consult these resources or your attorney.

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