The focus of ONUG Spring 2015 was operationalizing open infrastructure, something co-chairman and co-founder, Nick Lippis, addressed in his kick-off keynote. The keynote stressed ONUG’s goal of sustaining the user community’s effort to transform the current siloed IT organizational model into a cloud infrastructure design to more readily adapt to user needs while creating business value.
The conference sessions examined the state of evaluation and deployment of emerging software-defined solutions across the enterprise, cloud, and wide area networks, while networking luminaries addressed the implications of emerging software defined solutions on the development environment, organizational design, and careers in enterprise IT establishments. Other themes and highlights from the conference are as follows:
Demand for SD-WAN Leads the Way
SD-WAN was front and center both in user demand and deployable commercial solutions.
- – Seven vendors participated in verification testing of their solutions against top IT feature requirements.
- – Top carriers, such as Verizon, announced their SD-WAN offerings, a major push that gives customers choices of transports for the first time, freeing them from a MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) transport lock-in.
- – 40% of the ONUG IT community said they’re investing in SD-WAN technologies, with 41% evaluating, 24% lab testing, 18% in deployment planning, and 12% actually deploying SD-WAN technologies.
Need for a Revolutionary Enterprise IT Transformation
Top IT speakers laid out their networking strategies, noting disparate hybrid clouds, mobility, and enterprise IT had made for expensive, insecure legacy silos, making centralized policy, configuration, and orchestration models and control imminent.
- – Hyperscale power user Facebook recommended its recipe for networking by discussing its Open Compute Project: specifications and design documents for the custom-built servers, racks, and other equipment used in Facebook’s data centers, a single on-call engineer in charge of the whole network, robots that merge networks and programmability, correlation analytics, and a system that understands alerts from remedial systems with zero human intervention.
- – Significant discussions centered on a centralized orchestration model across the networking, compute, and storage disciplines that would bring with it disruption, and the need for skilled workers with cross-domain expertise.
- – Many speakers highlighted the need for cross-discipline skills and expertise to manage disparate devices, networks, and hybrid-clouds as the future of IT. The speakers acknowledged that while these transformations are starting, the metamorphosis would take time.
- – In his keynote, Adrian Cockcroft, ex-cloud architect at Netflix and technical fellow at Battery Ventures, stressed that alignment with business goals, simplification, speedy time to market, best-of-breed solutions, a Docker open platform DevOp strategy, and an end-to-end, cross-functional team as the urgent IT demands in the coming enterprise IT organizational transformation that will eventually empower DevOps and micro-services. A continuous delivery platform is a must for business agility and resolution of problems as they occur at a micro level instead of the current escalated, enterprise-wide model.
IT Business Leaders at the Forefront of Transformation
ONUG Spring marked a strategic milestone for ONUG and the networking industry at large as we saw results of feature verification testing of the top ten prioritized requirements in three key ONUG working groups. Fifteen companies completed testing which signified the very first exercise where commercial solutions were tested for feature parameters set by IT users, reversing traditional patterns of vendor-initiated solutions. The three ONUG working groups involved in the testing were the SD-WAN, Virtual Network Overlays, and Network Services Virtualization.
Three additional working groups published their top ten requirements:
- – Traffic Monitoring/Visibility
- – Network State, Correlation and Analytics
- – Common Management Tools across Network, Storage and Compute
The goal for the IT business leader-developed use case requirements, feature verification testing, and subsequent development of multivendor PoCs is to continue leveraging the user community’s collective power of engineering and procurement to steer the pace of change and deployment of open infrastructure solutions. The ONUG Use Case Working Groups will continue their respective efforts between now and ONUG Fall at NYU’s Kimmel Center on November 3-5, 2015.