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OpenTech Ireland. SDN Goes Emerald.

Jun 25, 2014

The Silicon Valley of Europe holds great potential for open SDN. No doubt about it – Ireland should be on your radar.

Next week, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is co-hosting OpenTech Ireland: An SDN Gathering alongside IDA Ireland and in cooperation with the Irish Software Association, Intune Networks, KEMP Technologies, and Sanctum Networks. As the first OpenTech Ireland symposium focused on Software-Defined Networking (SDN), this event marks an important milestone for open SDN as it moves ever closer to mainstream, global adoption.

SDN has its roots in Silicon Valley. Networking giants have been based in the Valley for decades. The OpenFlow® protocol, providing a standard networking language for controllers and switches regardless of vendor, began as a project at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. It seemed only natural that ONF be based in this region.

However, open SDN is a global movement. ONF member companies have headquarters and offices around the world, and representatives have attended more than 20 industry conferences in at least 10 different countries in just the past six months. I have personally participated in many of these events, and each time I visit a new country for SDN purposes, I’m invigorated by the enthusiasm and innovations taking place.

Ireland has been called “the Silicon Valley of Europe,” so it comes as no surprise that it is the perfect place for open SDN to thrive. Dublin has been ranked as the best city worldwide for human capital, and Ireland itself is recognized as the top country in Europe for completion of third-level education. Ireland offers a significantly low corporate tax rate in comparison to other countries highly involved in the booming technology industry. And Ireland continues to invest in science, technology, and innovation, financing €8 billion in research and technology capabilities. Open SDN requires a unique set of skills and offers opportunities for job creation, and Ireland has the potential to provide a talent pool, tax regime, and track record for success that established and startup networking companies should find enticing.

SDN luminaries from both the Silicon Valley of the United States and of Europe congregate in Dublin next week to drive conversations and jumpstart the local open SDN community serving end users worldwide during OpenTech Ireland: An SDN Gathering. I will be in attendance, delivering the opening address to kick off the event, and I can’t wait for the conversations and discoveries that are sure to inspire and motivate my work toward open SDN. I hope to see you there.

– Dan Pitt, Executive Director of the Open Networking Foundation