Open Networking Foundation


ONF-Certified SDN Professional Program

Validating Skills in SDN

The ONF-Certified SDN Professional Program (OCSP) provides a strong foundation of vendor-neutral knowledge and skills validation for engineering professionals wishing to improve their careers and gain advancement in the world of software defined networking. The program seeks to provide independent validation of both concept level skills for new entrants as well as technical level engineering skills for professionals working in SDN environments, either development or deployment.

The OCSP seeks to align itself with the ever-evolving nature of knowledge domains within SDN, and will create a series of knowledge domain blueprints that will allow training organizations and self-study participants an opportunity to create a wide ecosystem of training materials, online and in-person training events, and self-study curricula that can guide professional development. Furthermore, it is hoped that this foundational vendor-neutral knowledge can complement vendor-specific certifications in SDN so as to eliminate duplication of effort.

Certifications Currently Offered

ONF is in the development stages of two certifications, which will be released in 2015.
Watch this page or sign up for more information and the opportunity to participate in various development activities in the examinations.

ONF-certified-associate The first certification is the ONF-Certified SDN Associate certification (OCSA). The aim of this certification is to validate knowledge of foundational concepts in SDN. When released later this year, the test can be taken online, and will be helpful in validating the skills and knowledge of individuals working in the SDN professional ecosystem who are not involved in actual development and management of SDN (think product marketing professionals, sales and support professionals, entry-level engineers, etc.). The exam is in development and all SDN professionals are asked to validate the preliminary draft of the knowledge domains of this certification.

For more information, please visit the ONF-Certified SDN Associate certification (OCSA) webpage.

Future Certifications

As the SDN skills certification ecosystem broadens and develops its own subspecialties, ONF will assemble experts in the field and determine when validating those skillsets are appropriate. Like other technical certifications, ONF will “bundle” a series of subspecialty certs (think “ONF-Certified SDN Security Specialist” or “ONF-Certified SDN Architect”, etc.) and eventually create the equivalent of a terminal certification: The ONF-Certified SDN Expert. Additionally, we are currently in discussions about how the ONF certifications family can interact with other vendor-specific certifications. More information and developments to come.

Reasons to be ONF Certified

Is it worth the time and effort to seek and earn a certification in SDN? In a word, yes! While the true value of an ONF certification will always be evaluated by each SDN professional, and this is a new program, we look at other IT skills certification programs and see the following benefits:

  • Advances your career potential by setting you apart from the competition
  • Drives personal satisfaction of accomplishing a key career milestone
  • Helps improve your overall job performance by stressing continuing professional development
  • Recognizes that you have invested in your analytics career by pursuing this rigorous credential
  • Boosts your salary potential by being viewed as an experienced analytics professional
  • Shows competence in the principles and practice of analytics
  • Demonstrates commitment to the field
  • Proves to stakeholders that your organization follows industry-standard analytics practice


ONF Overview

Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is a user-driven organization dedicated to the promotion and adoption ofSoftware-Defined Networking (SDN) through open standards development.

SDN is a new approach to networking in which network control is decoupled from the data forwarding function and is directly programmable. The result is an extremely dynamic, manageable, cost-effective, and adaptable architecture that gives administrators unprecedented programmability, automation, and control. Implementing SDN via an open standard enables extraordinary agility while reducing service development and operational costs, and frees network administrators to integrate best-of-breed technology as it is developed.


ONF emphasizes an open, collaborative development process that is driven from the end-user perspective. Our signature accomplishment to date is introducing the OpenFlow® Standard, which enables remote programming of the forwarding plane. The OpenFlow® Standard is the first SDN standard and a vital element of an open software-defined network architecture.

Today, our Technical Communities continue to analyze SDN requirements, evolve the OpenFlow® Standard to address the needs of commercial deployments, and research new standards to expand SDN benefits.