The Linux Foundation and industry partners have announced a new project to build next-generation open source technology for data centers and service providers through, which will create an IO services framework for networking and storage applications.

IO is an emerging part of the "software-defined everything" ecosystem. Like SDN, NFV and software-defined storage, IO is designed to abstract data processing from underlying infrastructure. That makes applications more portable and scalable, while also offering significant performance advantages if implemented in the right way.'s aim is to provide open source code that will help in the implementation of high-performance IO services, especially within the realm of networking and storage. The project has already released its first software platform and promises more code to come.

In addition, the project has created a validation testing center, called the Continuous Performance Lab, which "provides an open source, fully automated testing infrastructure framework for continuous verification of code functionality and performance," according to the Linux Foundation. The focus here seems to be on making sure software is enterprise-ready from the outset -- a characteristic that underlines how eager the Linux Foundation and its partners are to get open source IO solutions into production.

While IO remains new, the Linux Foundation believes it will soon become another key component of modern data centers. " will foster similar innovation in the critical, and, as yet, unaddressed area of IO services," the organization said in a statement. " will help advance the state of the art of network and storage infrastructure and will quickly become a 'must have' technology in next-gen service provider and enterprise data center strategies as its benefits to areas like SDN and NFV are realized." was announced Feb. 11. Founding members of the project include 6WIND, Brocade, Cavium, Cisco, Comcast, Ericsson, Huawei, Inocybe Technologies, Intel Corporation, Mesosphere, Metaswitch Networks (Project Calico), PLUMgrid and Red Hat.