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ONS 2014. Openness.

Mar 4, 2014

Executive Director Dan Pitt recaps the opening keynote panel at the 2014 Open Networking Summit, including an exciting announcement from ONF. 

Greetings from the 2014 Open Networking Summit (ONS)! In its first couple of days, ONS has again proved to be the place in Silicon Valley for all things Software-Defined Networking (SDN).

On Monday, I was honored to speak on the summit’s keynote panel on how open (compute, networking, and source) will shape the future of computing and networking. The panel’6ybs über-experts included Jim Zemlin, The Linux Foundation; Jono Bacon, Canonical and Ubuntu; Najam Ahmad, Facebook; and moderated by Guru Parulkar from the Open Networking Summit.

Guru provided a comprehensive overview on ONS and its purposes as well as what SDN is and how SDN benefits network operators. He described SDN as something that is transforming the current brittle network infrastructure to an agile network architecture. Guru saw SDN as a disruptive innovation that can transform the industry into a very large business – estimated to be worth $100B or more. With SDN being on the S-curve now, and with early adopters actively deploying it, this is an exciting opportunity as it goes mainstream.

One thing that was clear during the panel: openness is everywhere! With organizations such as OpenStack, OpenCompute, OpenDaylight, ON.Lab, ONS, ONF, and all those that create open-source software – openness is definitely in the air in the SDN industry and in computing as a whole.

Each participant on the panel had great insight into how open computing, networking, and sourcing will shape, and are already shaping, the future of computing and networking. In my talk I shared ONF’s vision of what the “open” in open networking means and the importance of choosing the right interfaces to foster innovation above and below them. OpenFlow® and the northbound interfaces (and perhaps someday the chip SDK APIs) are the primary ones in our world. ONF also announced some news that echoes this movement. We have been working on an educational OpenFlow® tool for network tapping called the ONF SampleTap application.

The application is designed as a teaching tool for programmers (and ONF) looking to gain experience with OpenFlow® and OpenDaylight. SampleTap is based on OpenFlow® 1.0 and was written to run on an OpenDaylight controller. It has been tested and is being demonstrated with OpenFlow® Conformance-Certified NEC switches at ONS. SampleTap’s portable design should make it straightforward to port to other network operating systems and support later versions of OpenFlow.

Our development of SampleTap is an example of how open standards can work together to promote SDN adoption. We are very excited about SampleTap and hope that it will inspire adoption of OpenFlow® and SDN. We are advising network operators that if they are seriously interested in tapping to run, not walk, to the ONF member companies that offer commercial tapping apps; I mentioned eight of these in my talk. If you are attending ONS, make sure to stop by booth #609 to see a demo. I am truly looking forward to the rest of the summit and to further openness within the industry.

– Dan Pitt, Executive Director