The Open Networking Foundation has gained a new member. Pertino joined the organization in December in an effort to promote the adoption of software-defined networking (SDN)—in particular, the SDN Northbound Interface (NBI).

The cloud networking company is more than two years old and was founded by network and security engineers who set out to "reinvent" networking in the cloud. It also is a proponent of open source technologies, which is why it has joined the Open Networking Foundation, a user-driven organization dedicated to driving the adoption of open SDN through open standards development.

Pertino's interest in SDN is specifically with NBI, but the company is one of the early SDN adopters, using it to power its Cloud Network Engine platform.

"Over 3,000 cloud-based networks have been generated on Pertino's SDN-powered Cloud Network Engine platform. Our expertise in SDN and network service virtualization technologies will allow us to contribute to the Open Networking Foundation in a meaningful way," said Scott Hankins, co-founder and CTO of Pertino, in a prepared statement. "Open networks will drive more innovation, deeper integration of services, and greater simplification; all essential elements for an IT world that is being transformed by cloud and mobile."

But what about NBI? Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation explains: "The abundance of approaches to Northbound Interfaces is impeding the adoption of SDN. ONF's NBI Working Group is tackling this problem by identifying and developing information models for a small number of important, open interfaces for specific use cases, which helps the industry develop standard or popular approaches to SDN programmability. The efforts of our contributing members support the rapid adoption of SDN and simplify the implementation process for software developers and end users."

Pertino's interest in SDN comes from its combining of SDN with cloud and network virtualization technologies for what it calls "cost-effective, cloud networking capabilities" for SMBs.