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PlugFest. Success.

Nov 20, 2014

Rick Bauer recaps the ONF fall PlugFest co-located at HP in Roseville and BII in Beijing.

Last week we wrapped up our semi-annual Open Networking Foundation (ONF) global PlugFest, co-located at HP’s networking division headquarters in Roseville, California and at ONF’s global testing facility the Beijing Internet Institute (BII) lab.

ONF hosted more than 20 member companies, coming together to test OpenFlow® v1.3, over a week-long event. For three years now, ONF has been hosting semi-annual PlugFests, which allow manufacturers of SDN equipment an opportunity to test their products with other companies, develop greater conformance to the OpenFlow® standard, and in general improve the reliability of SDN.

All involved were pleasantly surprised how quickly things got set up and running at both sites. This PlugFest lacked any mishaps or bugs thanks to the great strategic ONF leadership provided by Michael Haugh of Ixia and Ron Milford InCNTRE, chair and vice chair of the Testing and Interoperability Working Group respectively. Both PlugFests were notable for the speed and efficiency of the OpenFlow® v1.3 Conformance Testing.

These engineers are no-nonsense, experienced hands who were quickly able to install and rack their gear, plug into the test framework, and start running their conformance protocols. By the end of the first day in Beijing, we were already almost a day ahead of schedule. With that kind of progress more complex test cases were designed and deployed for the companies who attended. We were soon days ahead of normal pace for schedule, complexity, breadth of fixes identified, and fixes deployed.

ONF’s PlugFests have continued to grow in success, and it is incredible to witness how quickly all of these companies can transition from random, uncoordinated development to testing a sequenced, collaborative, and completely engaged mode in just a few short years.

With the speed at which both the Roseville and Beijing teams were able to accomplish their goals of one-to-one testing, followed by testing each controller with multiple switches, it has prompted the Testing and Interoperability Working Group to begin to broaden and refine the goals and participants for future PlugFests.

ONF member companies have made a major investment in SDN technologies that is already transforming networking for generations to come. They are a part of a vanguard that has shaken up this industry permanently, and the pace just continues to speed up as their accomplishments grow.

It’s a really exciting time to be a part of these events. They are an increasingly valuable chance to test products, work alongside competing companies, and get involved in the future of SDN.

-Rick Bauer, Technical Program Manager