The OpenDaylight Project, a community-led source team with big name industry backers, has announced its first piece of open source software for Software-Defined Networking (SDN).

The new software, named "Hydrogen", provides northbound capabilities for networking hardware, and comes in three editions: Base, Virtualisation, and Service Provider, each aimed at different markets.

The Base edition includes the core controller software, plug-ins and protocols for OpenFlow, as well as configuration data and tools for servers and YANG projects.

The other two editions add extra layers of features in the form of DDoS detection, multi-tenancy and traffic engineering. The software suite is not a one-size-fits-all solution, more a set of tools from which network vendors can choose their best option depending on their specific requirements.

Steps forwards

OpenDaylight was founded by 18 companies including Cisco, Dell, Juniper, IBM and Intel. The project now has 33 members in its roster with more than 150 developers contributing to its software.

"OpenDaylight formed with the goal of tackling one of IT's toughest challenges: simplifying network management," said David Meyer, Technical Steering Committee chair, OpenDaylight. "This first release is a great step forward and the community is already looking to build on its work to address a variety of additional capabilities and features in subsequent releases."

For network vendors, Hydrogen might provide a way to work around the challenges out-of-the-box SDN architecture might provide. All of the releases will run under Fedora 20 or Ubuntu VMs. Along with its announcement of Hydrogen, OpenDaylight also revealed that two more vendors – ConteXtream and Qosmos – are joining its group.