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April 14, 2017 by Alan DiCicco

SDA Friday: “Ah ha” moments from the Open Network Summit


Last week, I attended the Open Networking Summit and was impressed with the collaborative efforts to improve networking through open source initiatives. Here are a few of my favorite insightful comments from the keynotes:

Martin Casado, General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz, and longtime SDN guru, remarked, “Until you try to change deployment practices [at a large network operator] you don’t realize how much technology isn’t in a bubble.”

This is acknowledgement that it usually takes longer to introduce new technology into a large distributed network than it does to develop the technology. The importance of extensibility of technology and platform selections was never more clear.

John Donovan, Chief Strategy Officer and Group President, AT&T, while outlining their strategy for “data-powered optimization”, made the point that security and authentication are now part of networking, not adjunct services.

Data-powered instrumentation and policy enforcement must be infused into the network at the atomic level, and at every point in the network. In a world dependent on its communications networks, security is top priority.

Amin Vahdat, Fellow & Technical Lead for Networking, Google, spoke of the paramount need to build reliability into the network, commenting, “predictability is driven by computers, not humans.”

The corollary is that humans are much more tolerant to unpredictable events. Humans can gracefully accommodate an error through the simple act of “try it again”. When we focus on software reliability, we raise network reliability.

As I listened to each speaker, I was struck by how much the Calix AXOS platform was already living up to the challenges of these industry leaders. If you want a software platform that is extensible, secure, and reliable, those elements need to be part of the initial design. You can’t go back later and make it all work by bolting on an API adaptor or adjunct process. That failing strategy won’t deliver a network that is Fast, Always On, and Simple.

You can watch these and more keynote presentations on the ONS website

Thanks for joining the SDA Friday conversation.