SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Archrivals Google and Facebook will share their visions of datacenter networking -- likely both similar and competing -- at the Hot Interconnects event in August. Google will host the event, which includes talks from a wide variety of communications luminaries on hot topics in comms such as new uses for flash memory and the rise of silicon photonics.
Amin Vahdat, a Google Fellow and the search giant's technical lead on networking, will open the event with a talk on network virtualization and software-defined networking (SDN). Google helped spawn industry work on SDN at Stanford that has spun off into the Open Networking Foundation, an ad hoc group setting standards for SDN around its Openflow protocol.
SDN aims to lower the cost and simplify the management of networking by running tasks in software on merchant processors such as x86 servers. A year ago, Google shared its work on an SDN implementation for its internal network linking its datacenters, including a homemade router. At Hot Interconnects, Vahdat will give for the first time "an overview of the design and architectural requirements to bring Google's infrastructure services to external customers with the Google Cloud Platform."
Separately, Yuval Bachar, a hardware networking engineer at Facebook, will give a talk on the social networking giant's view of datacenter networking. Bachar is responsible for Facebook's Wedge Switch project, a concept for an open-source networking system for SDN.
Bachar spent more than 10 years in various roles at Cisco including a stint as a senior director of architecture and strategy in a group CTO office. He also spent more than two years as a group CTO at Juniper and has been with Facebook for less than a year.
The two keynotes show how large datacenters are increasingly in the driver's seat when it comes to laying out the tech road map in communications. The big web server sites are now said to represent as much as 20% of all server sales and thus live on the bleeding edge of work in distributed networking.
Two related talks will give chip vendors' perspectives on SDN.
A Freescale fellow and chief software architect will talk about how the Openflow protocol can be used with network-function virtualization (NFV), a separate but related effort driven by carriers. A director of strategic planning from Avago's LSI group will discuss control plane interconnects for SDN and NFV.
The conference will also host a half-day tutorial on SDN.
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