OpenFlow networks require installation of flow rules in a limited capacity switch memory (Ternary Content Addressable Memory or TCAMs, in particular) from a logically centralized controller. A controller can manage the switch memory in an OpenFlow network through events that are generated by the switch at discrete time intervals. Recent studies have shown that data centers can have up to 10,000 network flows per second per server rack today. Increasing the TCAM size to accommodate these large number of flow rules is not a viable solution since TCAM is costly and power hungry. Current OpenFlow controllers handle this issue by installing flow rules with a default idle timeout after which the switch automatically evicts the rule from its TCAM. This results in inefficient usage of switch memory for short lived flows when the timeout is too high and in increased controller workload for frequent flows when the timeout is too low. In this context, we present SmartTime - an OpenFlow controller system that combines an adaptive timeout heuristic to compute efficient idle timeouts with proactive eviction of flow rules, which results in effective utilization of TCAM space while ensuring that TCAM misses (or controller load) does not increase. To the best of our knowledge, SmartTime is the first real implementation of an intelligent flow management strategy in an OpenFlow controller that can be deployed in current OpenFlow networks. In our experiments using multiple real data center packet traces and cache sizes, SmartTime adaptive policy consistently outperformed the best performing static idle timeout policy or random eviction policy by up to 58% in terms of total cost. © 2014 ACM.