Keynote Talks

Monday, October 29, 2012. 8:30 am- 9:30 am

Softly Defined Networking

Gordon Brebner, Distinguished Engineer, Xilinx, Inc.

Software Defined Networking (SDN) has been described as the hope and hype for the future of networking.  Definitions vary, but one research direction is to separate the control plane from the data plane, introducing abstractions that can provide a global network view, a description of required behavior, and a model of packet forwarding.  While the worthy goal is to address ossification of the Internet, the “S” for “software” in SDN perhaps unintentionally ossifies views of the respective roles of hardware and software.  Specifically, it introduces an inbuilt assumption that there is relatively dumb switching hardware for high-speed packet forwarding, and relatively intelligent software running on processors for lesser-speed networking control.  Programmable logic technology offers scope for ‘soft hardware’, with the potential to blur the distinctions between traditional roles.  However, such technology must prove both its ability to deliver the necessary high performance and its ability to be programmed in a high-level manner.  In this talk, I will overview research that has been addressing these issues successfully, and will discuss its potential impact on the evolving view of SDN.

About the speaker:

Gordon Brebner

Dr Gordon Brebner is a Distinguished Engineer at Xilinx, Inc., the worldwide leader in programmable logic platforms.  He works in Xilinx Labs in San José, California, USA, leading an international group researching issues surrounding networked processing systems of the future.  His main personal research interests concern dynamically reconfigurable architectures, domain-specific languages with highly concurrent implementations, and high performance networking and telecommunications, with also a historical interest in computational complexity.  He has authored numerous papers and the book Computers in Communication, and holds many patents.  Prior to joining Xilinx in 2002, Gordon was the Professor of Computer Systems at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, directing the Institute for Computing Systems Architecture.  He is now an Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh, a Ph.D. student advisor at Santa Clara University and University of Southern California, and a visiting lecturer at Stanford University.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012. 8:30 am- 9:30 am

Software is the Future of Networking

Teemu Koponen, Sr. Staff Engineer, VMware, Inc.

In this talk, I'll revisit the role of Software in Software-Defined Networking and argue how not only control plane but also forwarding is becoming increasingly only a matter of software development. In short, I'll discuss how x86 is already on its way to transform the networking as we know it.

About the speaker:

Prior to VMware, Teemu was the chief architect and a founding employee at Nicira.  Teemu received his PhD from Helsinki University of Technology in 2008 and ever since has been indecisive enough both to work for the industry and yet to remain active within the networking research community.  In his research, Teemu has always been obsessed with architectural challenges in networking.