< back to overview

ONF @ The Summit

Mar 24, 2016

Dan Pitt shares highlights from Open Networking Summit 2016.  


Open source was the topic of the year during the Linux Foundation’s ONS 2016 (hardly surprising). With informative sessions, some excellent speakers, a few exciting announcements, and informative discussions in the “hallway track”, we always look forward to participating.

The global voice was especially evident at this year’s event; it was great to see and hear from executives based in Korea, China, Japan, and Israel. Two specific presentations stood out to me: Kitty Pang’s demo from Daho Networks, and Dr. Kang-Won Lee’s discussion of 5G and SK Telecom’s transformation into a platform company. Daho Networks is a young SD-WAN company empowering network operators and enterprises through better DCI (data center interconnect) service and innovation. Kitty Pang, who last year gave the keynote for Alibaba, started the company to offer VPN-like service at public-Internet ease and cost. Dr. Lee championed mobile as the future of networking, emphasizing that 5G means not only very big numbers (as for speeds and connected devices) and very small numbers (as for latency) but also customer-experience enhancement, efficient and intelligent network operations, and new business opportunities. It’s not that fixed and optical networks will get any smaller but that it’s the mobile network that will capture the IoT and most novel applications. The notion of transforming SK Telecom into a platform company positions the network as a resource to be monetized not just by SK Telecom’s applications but by numerous third parties as well.

Also, I may be a little biased, but one of my favorite things at ONS this year was the ONF SDN Market Opportunities Tutorial held on March 14, before the start of the regular conference on March 15. At this particular ONF tutorial, we addressed the energy being invested in the SDN controller space, the need to start looking towards orchestration, and the role that open source software is exacting on OEMs and industry groups alike. No matter the event, you will not find better speakers, topics, or panelists at any session than in one of these ONF tutorials or workshops, which we offer at select, high-quality conferences only.

If this sounds of interest, our next ONF workshop, which we are calling an SDNFV mini-summit, will be held at the Layer123 NFV World Congress in San Jose on April 19. The workshop will share network-driven use cases and examine how SDN and NFV are combining (hence the term “SDNFV”) to transform network operations and applications and the respective roles of standards and open source software. For more information, click here.

After attending ONS, I foresee continued dynamism in the networking industry, with positive and negative implications for vendors, mostly positive implications for network operators, and only positive implications for end users. New capabilities and new players are challenging old ways of thinking, creating new opportunities and a better understanding of the real role of networking in this emerging IT world of cloud, web scale data center, 5G and video, caching, and geography.

What were your takeaways from ONS 2016? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

- Dan Pitt, Executive Director

Share this post:
Dan Pitt