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Oktoberfest. ONF Style.

Oct 23, 2014

A recap of the Layer123 SDN & OpenFlow® World Congress in Düsseldorf.

Banner-SDN-560x130The third annual Layer123 SDN & OpenFlow® World Congress has come to a close in Düsseldorf. Co-hosted by ONF, this year’s conference nearly doubled last year’s attendance, selling out at 1,300 registrants, and featured 60+ exhibitors and more than 140 speakers. Also in attendance were carriers from all over the world including the U.S., Europe, Korea, Japan, China, and Australia. The four-day event was jam-packed with various demos, live real-world use cases, workshops, and breakout sessions talking about all things SDN. Soon you will be able to see all the slides and presentations at the Layer123 website, including my keynote and the excellent ONF workshop that Marc Cohn organized.

The show housed the first-ever ONF SDN Solutions Showcase. The showcase was a big hit, with 22 ONF member companies displaying real-world implementations of SDN in four categories: data center SDN, carrier and WAN SDN, campus SDN, and testing and validation. It was great to see companies along with their partners and customers demonstrating how they have leveraged SDN and OpenFlow® for greater success, streamlined deployment, and greater network utilization. The most exciting part for me was seeing the involvement of real network operators (including a lot of telecom service providers), some being ONF members and some not, in these demos. We look forward to featuring the ONF SDN Solutions Showcase at additional shows in the near future, making it possible for customers and companies alike to share their own experiences of SDN implementation to the masses.

Of course, where there is SDN, there is also NFV. ETSI NFV displayed 13 Proofs of Concept (PoCs) involving actual network operators showing NFV in action. Between these PoCs and the ONF SDN Solutions Showcase, I believe we were able to really bring SDN and NFV to life and show how they are being implemented today. This is a fantastic step forward in the evolution of the network.

While at the show, I was fortunately able to attend many of the sessions and workshops taking place. For those of you unable to attend the show, I have included four key takeaways I observed below, which align nicely with my recent predictions for SDN (also announced at the show):

  •  Open-source software is in the mouths of operators, and even some vendors too. And they are most interested in open-source projects they can adopt and deploy.
  • Orchestration was a hot topic, with operators discussing its importance and challenges and vendors promoting orchestration tools. This already represents a maturing of SDN and increasing comfort with the SDN substrate on which these tools operate.
  • NFV is top-of-mind for carriers, even though many realize that it’s going to be a long road, affecting both technology and processes.
  • SDN is (finally) being acknowledged as an essential foundation of NFV, especially at scale.

As we closed the door on this year’s SDN & OpenFlow® World Congress, I look back with unending appreciation to every person in the SDN community who made this event possible. It is excellent to see key players within SDN convene in one location to further SDN growth and implementation. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Layer123 at future SDN events.

Until next year, again probably somewhere in the Rhineland, auf wiedersehen.

- Dan Pitt, Executive Director

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Dan Pitt