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SDN Demand in Japan

Jun 22, 2012

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Interop Tokyo, one of the leading business technology events in Japan. ONF could not have been more thrilled with the reception of OpenFlow® and SDN in Japan, and the momentum and demand that the technology is gaining. Along with the reported 130,000 other attendees at Interop Tokyo the Foundation and a multitude of our member companies participated in a variety of activities while I was in Japan including (but not limited to):

  • ONF Member Meet-up: 19 current member companies and 11 prospective member companies (totaling around 90 people) joined for an evening to discuss what ONF is all about.
  • Guest Lecture Series at the University of Tokyo: A representative from one of our member companies and I attended Professor Esaki’s graduate class on internet engineering at the University of Tokyo to present on OpenFlow. Big Switch Networks’ CEO Guido Appenzeller talked about OpenFlow® technology, how it works, and what it does, while I explained how ONF is helping to commercialize this university-originated invention along with the role of standards in the marketplace and what types of technology lend themselves to standardization.
  • Interop Panel Session: Two member companies and I presented a Foundation tutorial at Interop. Daisuke Saso of Brocade and Atsushi Iwata of NEC discussed the Foundation’s working groups and discussion groups, while I shared big picture information during the session. The full audience provided excellent and intriguing Q&A at the close of the session.
  • OpenFlow® Showcase at Interop: On the convention show floor, not only did multiple member companies highlight OpenFlow® in standalone booths, but the event housed an OpenFlow® Showcase. The showcase, presented by our member companies, was always full with people stopping to listen to the multiple speakers and see seven OpenFlow® use cases in action. The open stage area of the Showcase attracted over 200 people for the daily ONF briefing.
  • Interop Keynote: In my keynote session, I discussed the SDN movement, and how Silicon Valley and Japan are leading the new networking generation. During the session, Big Switch’s Guido Appenzeller joined me to provide prospective from a successful startup about how the movement started, its evolution, and how it is spawning new companies. Member of the ONF Board of Directors Yukio Ito of NTT also made a cameo appearance and provided deep insight into the Japanese landscape and enterprise cloud services. Both Guido and Ito-san spoke in Japanese, the former a bit of a shocker, to the 1000 people in the room. Check out our collaborative presentation here: Interop Tokyo Keynote

While we participated in other activities, such as press conferences and receptions, the membership activities and speaking sessions were most definitely the peaks. Between the multiple sessions, conversations, demos, products, and services all highlighted at the event, it was quite evident that the industry is making a huge investment in OpenFlow® and SDN. It was also readily apparent that there is a hunger for more - more knowledge, more understanding, and more products sooner!

I would like to thank Daisuke Saso of Brocade and Masanobu Tsukuda of NTT Communications as well as the multiple other member companies who contributed space, people, and demos to the Showcase to help make Interop Tokyo a triumphant success for ONF and our members!

--Dan Pitt

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Dan Pitt