In some ways, OpenDaylight looks like a more efficient version of the kind of industrial standards body that governs the creation of radio systems for cellphones. While ostensibly impartial, these bodies have often been highly political and could delay technology deployment for years while companies fought to have their technology incorporated into common use.
The companies in the project have spent billions of dollars already on S.D.N. VMware, for example, paid $1.23 billion for an S.D.N. company called Nicira, while Cisco has financed its own S.D.N. company.