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SDNFV + Birthday Cake

Apr 27, 2016

Read Executive Director Dan Pitt’s thoughts and highlights from NFV World Congress.

The second incarnation of Layer123’s NFV World Congress, which took place last week in San Jose, was another success (and the tenth successful ONF and Layer123 conference partnership). Overall attendance was up 15 percent over last year, including three dozen journalists and analysts, and workshop attendance on the first day of the event increased by more than 50 percent compared to 2015. There was impressive representation from industry professionals and companies all over the globe – both vendors as well as operators, and many ONF member companies – discussing their actual experiences in NFV and SDN implementation and deployment.

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You read that right – both NFV and SDN. While this is clearly an NFV-focused  conference, SDN was discussed liberally throughout the event. ONF has stood by the perspective that while NFV can be a great introduction into the world of network virtualization, a foundation of SDN is required in order to gain long-lasting value. These innovations go hand-in-hand, which is why we introduced a new term at the event to describe the convergence of the two – SDNFV. Yes, another arcane abbreviation, but this one has resonated well. It seems the industry is increasingly supportive of the perspective that NFV works best when combined with SDN.

Now, for a few of my highlights. One of my favorite sessions during the event was by Alex Zhang of China Mobile. Alex shared the company’s perspective on NFV, its strategy, and some use cases. He also discussed the company’s projects in software development – something near and dear to the heart of ONF. Given the scale of the China Mobile network (now 826 million subscribers), it’s no wonder their NovoNet and Telecom Infrastructure Cloud incorporate SDN just about everywhere.

Phil McKinney of CableLabs described Kyrio, a for-profit subsidiary that serves beyond the cable companies, and announced its NFV/SDN [isn’t SDNFV much simpler?] interoperability lab; Dr. Hiroshi Nakamura of NTT Docomo described the keys to commercializing SDNFV (my term) along with their impressive actual experience; and Francisco-Javier Ramón of Telefónica gave the most in-depth description I have heard of Open Source MANO (OSM), an orchestrator project that is included in what I described in my keynote as the orchestrator wars (along with Open-O and OpenLSO).

I enjoyed seeing Saurav Das’ demonstration of Atrium in the expo, during which he actually ran it live. And Bithika Khargharia sparkled as she presented a vision and opportunities for our open source software.

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ONF held an SDNFV Mini-Summit during the event, organized and chaired by Marc Cohn, which shared network operator-driven use cases and examined how SDNFV is transforming the adoption of standards in future networks, including the role of open source software. As usual, we had a strong lineup of speakers and panelists, and attendance was high. It was an outstanding workshop.

ONF also celebrated its fifth birthday during an open meetup at the event. We had a great time connecting with member companies and industry friends, and we enjoyed a both gorgeous and delicious birthday cake. Thank you to everyone who joined us in celebration of this milestone for the organization and to the community as a whole, without whom we would achieve nothing, and here’s to more birthdays and congresses to come!

– Dan Pitt, Executive Director