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SDN & OpenFlow In the Hague

Oct 20, 2016

Rick Bauer shares highlights from the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress and recaps the ONF SDN Solutions Showcase. 

We were proud to once again co-host this year’s SDN & OpenFlow World Congress in The Hague, Netherlands last week. In its fourth year, the event featured over 180 expert speakers, 150 exhibitors, and 2,000 delegates. The one-week event was full of great sessions, presentations, and workshops on advancing the carrier vision of NFV and SDN and MANO, as well as realizing the potential of SDN.

We kicked off the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress with our second ONF SDN Euro-Summit Workshop. This year’s Summit featured ONF members sharing driven use-cases for a range of network operators, spanning major carriers to the data center. We also gave a glimpse into a few ONF member startups, covered why multi-layer control is important, and examined how SDN and NFV are transforming how we will adopted standards in future networks, including the role of open source. The workshop concluded with a great panel, “Has SDN and OpenFlow Lived Up to Its Promise?”, featuring Pascal Menezes of MEF, Craig Russell of CSIRO Data61, Stanislav Kozlov of Rostelecom, and Jon Vestal of Telstra. I got a chance to ask the questions and do the follow up for the panel, and it was a rich experience. Very surprised at Telstra—always seems that the carriers would rather talk after they do things, not before—and Telstra is making great strides after the Pacnet acquisition in SDN deployment. Jon Vestal from Telstra responded with no hesitation that “for us, OpenFlow is alive again.” I thought the use cases around security, at least for the enterprise data centers, were attracting a lot of customer interest.

On the first day of the congress, Robert Jones of Layer123, and I gave a big welcome to the attendees and participants. On day three, ONF’s Research Associate Sandra Scott-Hayward, and ONF’s Principal Engineer Bithika Khargharia, both led sessions. Sandra’s session covered a very important topic being discussed in the SDN industry right now, “SDN Security – An Evolution.” Security is a concern for any company, and as such, companies should feel comfortable and confident in their security with SDN. They are thinking in two aspects—the security OF SDN, and getting better networking security WITH SDN. The hypothetical use case of the company with hundreds of IDS appliances wanting to swap out an OpenFlow switch with the right programming rules to handle perimeter security is getting a lot of attention. Sandra eloquently discussed how, along with all the members of the ONF Security Working Group (apparently the hot ticket WG these days, gaining strength and interest among ONF insiders); the Security WG is really making great strides on their publications and their DELTA project. In Bithika’s session, “ONF Update – Project Atrium,” she gave a thorough deep dive into OpenSourceSDN.org’s project Atrium, and how it’s accelerating the adoption of open SDN, and evolving into the enterprise. Make sure you keep an eye out for some significant news about major IT organizations deploying Atrium Enterprise. On the last day of the event, I was humbled to present a keynote on the topic of SDN and the turning point we are currently at in the industry.

Out of all of this, I think that I was most excited to announce the winner of the “Best in Showcase” award, for the SDN Solutions Showcase, which is voted on by the attendees. Congratulations to OpenSourceSDN.org’s project DELTA for winning this award. Congratulations are also in order for OpensourceSDN.org’s project iSDX, and again for DELTA, the two winners of the “Congress Stage Spotlight.” As the winners of the Spotlight, both project teams were given time on the main stage to demo their open source projects in front of all the attendees. The Showcase is always one of my favorite parts of the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress, as I enjoy seeing everyone coming together to show their real world SDN use cases.

As SDN continues to evolve, it’s important that those in the industry evolve their training and certifications in networking.  That’s why the ONF-Certified SDN Associates (OCSA) training and certification, as well as the ONF-Certified SDN Engineer (OCSE) training and certification, were given at the 2016 SDN & OpenFlow World Congress. We had a big turn-out for both the OSCA training on Monday, and the OCSE training on Friday, with many of those who attended the training workshops taking their respective exams to become certified. You can find more about our ONF-Certified SDN Professional Program (OCSP) under SDN Skills Certification on our website, here.

It’s great to come together and share insights on where the industry has been, where we are, and where we’re going. If you missed this year’s SDN & OpenFlow World Congress, we hope to see you at the next one in 2017.

– Rick Bauer, Head of Standards