Dan Pitt shares his experiences and highlights from the premier networking event.
The Open Networking Summit is among my top must-attend conferences each year. This year’s event, which took place June 14-18 in Santa Clara, California, brought some exciting insights.
ONF hosted a workshop on the first day of the summit, and I have to say that this might have been our best one to date. The content was strong, the speakers were great, and the interest level was high. I hope that everyone who attended our workshop left with something new to consider and share.
The keynotes and panels throughout ONS2015 also stood out to me. Two messages were prevalent in the presentation lineup: first, open source is the emerging direction of the networking industry, and, second, OpenFlow® seemed to be pouring out of everyone’s mouth.
You’ve likely read articles about the keynotes from organizations including AT&T, Google, and the National Security Agency (NSA) – and if not, many of them are included in the “Latest News” section of our website – so I won’t go into too much detail about their content. However, I do have to note that these talks really drove home the impact that SDN can have, especially when it is done in a collaborative manner. As John Donovan of AT&T explained, it’s not just that AT&T is using open source software; it’s also about making contributions back to that community. One of the videos of AT&T staff that John showed mentioned their use of OpenFlow. Amin Vahdat, describing Google’s data center architecture, revealed for the first time what many of us have suspected since Urs Hölzle announced three years ago that the SDN network that interconnects their data centers is based on OpenFlow, namely that the network within their data centers employs OpenFlow, too. The NSA talk was a real eye-opener. Among Brian Larish’s statements were that “centralized control via OpenFlow® is key” and “we are all in on OpenFlow.”
In addition to the demos and detailed explanations from companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, and Alibaba, as well as the forward-looking perspectives of SK Telecom and NTT Communications, the event featured a solid collection of SDN use cases in action at the SDN Solutions Showcase, organized by ONF in partnership with ONS. Located in the center of the Exhibit Hall, the showcase offered 19 different demonstrations by numerous organizations, vendors, and network operators. Tours for reporters, analysts, and executives were rampant, and in general the many press and analysts we interviewed with were drawn to spending time in the showcase. It was also exciting for us to be able to show Atrium live and in action, and most press and analysts focused heavily on it! Oh, and Brian Larish mentioned Atrium, too.
If you happened to miss the SDN Solutions Showcase, videos of the demonstrations will be available online shortly. We’ll let you know as soon as they are published; these companies are producing incredible work, involving real operators and demonstrating real-world use cases.
One last thing – I want to thank everyone who took the time to chat with me during the event. While I do have conversations with many of you over the phone and via email throughout the year, one of my favorite things about attending events is getting to speak with so many good friends and colleagues in person. If you see me at an event, please don’t hesitate to stop me and say hello, whether we have met before or not. I am eager to meet you and hear what you are up to.
I also want to thank all who contributed to talks, panels, and demos at ONS. I know many of you worked long days and nights for months preparing, whether you attended in person or not. The results of your efforts shone brightly last week.
– Dan Pitt, Executive Director