Las Vegas, May 10, 2012
Interop wrapped up this past week in Las Vegas, a more modest affair than in years past, but a significant industry event nonetheless. Over the three days, in excess of 13,000 visitors over 350 exhibits, among them dozens of ONF members.With an end-user focus, under the (many) lights of Sin City, exhibitors pulled out all of the stops – magicians, sleek race cars, a Booth Crawl, and even Dr. Spock (of Star Trek fame) – to hawk their wares to the predominantly Enterprise IT attendees.
Software Defined Networking (SDN) and OpenFlow® maintained the momentum generated by the Open Networking Summit (ONS) held only 3 weeks before, as evidenced by a strong showing at the InteropNet OpenFlow® Lab. Over 15 member companies’ equipment was connected, from switches to controllers to applications to test equipment, often drawing large crowds of users, press, and analysts alike.
[caption id="attachment_277" align="alignnone" width="356"] Over 15 ONF member companies’ equipment was connected at the InteropNet OpenFlow® Lab[/caption]
SDN and OpenFlow® press releases in conjunction with Interop were issued liberally from ONF members: Big Switch Networks, Extreme Networks, HP, IP Infusion, IXIA, Marvell, NEC, Netronome, Spirent, and Vello Systems among them. The message appeared to have been heard, as many tradeshow attendees were explicitly inquiring about SDN and OpenFlow® plans.
Several ONF members conducted OpenFlow® demonstrations, including IP Infusion, which demonstrated the benefits of SDN in a mobile video application. In the demo, an OpenFlow® Network was contrasted against an existing L2 network through Hybrid mode switches to illustrate more efficient path management and flexible policy management (see below).
[caption id="attachment_278" align="alignnone" width="365"] IP Infusion demonstrated a Hybrid Mode Control Plane for mobile video applications[/caption]
At Interop, it was clear than SDN is rapidly evolving from concepts to a standard protocol to the genesis of an ecosystem that is beginning to emerge. Every link in the value chain was represented, from semiconductors to applications, with infrastructure in between. Not surprisingly, software firms played a prominent role as network services and applications that can exploit the SDN architecture were abundant. Orchestration and provisioning systems, network services such as load balancing, traffic management, and QoS, as well as the underlying Control Plane software were present.
Additional indicators that the SDN and OpenFlow® initiative is gaining traction:
- Hybrid mode capabilities that address the migration from today’s installed base to OpenFlow® applications were also present
- OpenFlow® test suites and tools were present, with the major vendors demonstrating OpenFlow® capabilities
- Flow-based silicon was present, with vendors large and small alluding to OpenFlow® chips
- The prestigious Best of Interop award was bestowed upon NEC America for their ProgrammableFlow PF6800 Controller.
The ONF continues to play a vital role in the maturation of SDN; ONF logos indicating membership were prominently displayed. Copies of the recently released ONF SDN/OpenFlow® White Paper “Software-Defined Networking: The New Norm for Networks” (April 13, 2012) were also stacked on Booth tabletops throughout the show floor and the supply was exhausted before the final day even began.
No doubt that at Interop Las Vegas 2013, demonstrations and proof of concepts will begin to transition to more integrated solutions. Stay tuned to the ONF blog for additional insights and takeaways from the event from other member companies, and a closer look into the InteropNet OpenFlow® Lab. Untill, then, here are a few more pictures from Interop 2012!
– Marc Cohn
Marc Cohn serves as the Vice-Chair of the ONF Market Education Committee. He is the Senior Director of Product Marketing at IP Infusion. For over 20 years, Marc has driven and promoted successful communications software products for the Data Communications and Telecommunications markets as the industry was transformed by the IP revolution.