Industry conferences are a leading cause of information overload, a dreaded condition that can cause disorientation, slurred speech, and a great desire to flee the confines of the world's large, cavernous buildings.
What to see? Who to listen to? When to play that all-important next level of Grand Theft Auto 5? So to help out those heading to this week's Ethernet & SDN Expo (ESDN), here's a guide to five conference sessions we think you shouldn't miss. (For further details about these sessions and others, check out the conference agenda.)
1. Network Automation & Orchestration With Carrier SDN & NFV, 3:40 p.m. - 4:50 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 2
Is the telecom industry constantly revamping its operational support systems, or does it just seem that way? Well, as increasing competition and customer expectations put new pressures on carriers, and technology innovation changes the nature of how services get from "here" to "there," ongoing OSS change is to be expected. Caroline Chappell, senior analyst, Heavy Reading, will lead a panel investigation of what OSSs in a software-defined, virtualized environment will look like, and what will be expected from them. You will also hear from: Margaret Chiosi, Distinguished Network Architect, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T); Ralph Santitoro, Director of Strategic Market Development, Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. ; Manish Gulyani, Vice President, Product Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU); Nirav Modi, Director of Software Innovations, Cyan Inc. ; and Prayson Pate, Chief Technologist, Overture Networks.
2. Ethernet & SDN Executive Council Roundtable – Carrier Ethernet & Cloud Service Innovation Today & Tomorrow, 11:45 a.m. - 12:35 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 2
Stan Hubbard, former Heavy Reading senior analyst and now director of communications & research for the MEF , sits down with five service provider executives to sort out three of the biggest network operations technology game-changers -- software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV) and Carrier Ethernet 2.0. Giving their take on these tech developments are: Andrew Malis, Fellow, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ); Mike Tighe, Executive Director, Data Services, Comcast Business Services; Don MacNeil, Chief Marketing Officer & Acting Chief Customer Operations Officer, XO Communications Inc. ; Adam Saenger, VP Portfolio Management, tw telecom inc. (Nasdaq: TWTC); and Satyanarayana Parimi, Vice President of Vertical Markets, Time Warner Cable Business Class. They will talk about the practical timelines for implementing these technologies, and the role they could play in re-defining networking.
3. Mobile Backhaul/Flexible Backhaul for a New Generation of Public Access Small Cells, 2:10 p.m. - 3:25 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 2
Small cells represent one of the hottest technology trends of the past few years, but there is still much debate around the backhaul implications of large-scale public access small cell deployments. What can Ethernet wholesale providers expect regarding new small cell backhaul requirements? How might the SDN model come into play, if at all, for small cell backhaul? Patrick Donegan, senior analyst, Heavy Reading, leads a group discussion of these questions and others. He'll be joined by: David Howson, President, Sales & Customer Management, Zayo Group Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO); Scott Knox, Director of Solutions Development, Overture Networks Inc. ; Dr. Michael Ritter, VP Technical Marketing & Analyst Relations, ADVA Optical Networking ; Jim Heney, Director of Marketing, Canoga Perkins ; and Bruno Giguere, Advisor, CTO Office, EXFO (Nasdaq: EXFO; Toronto: EXF).
4. Industry Initiatives Update - SDN, NFV, and Carrier Ethernet 2.0, 8:40 a.m. - 9:25 a.m. Thursday Oct. 3
This will be a big one for anyone deploying (or hoping to deploy anytime soon) SDN, NFV, and Carrier Ethernet 2.0. Consider that SDN alone is a fairly new technology with a number of consortia and industry groups trying to define standards and specs to take it to the next level. NFV is in the same boat, and though CE 2.0 is more mature by comparison, it is still in its early stages of market adoption. Expect to hear the latest updates on efforts from the Open Networking Foundation; ETSI Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Forum; Open Daylight Project; IETF; OIF; the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), and other organizations. The MEF's Stan Hubbard will handle the proceedings, and will be joined by Marc Cohn, Chair, Open Networking Foundation Market Education Committee; Senior Director of Market Development, Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN); Margaret Chiosi, Distinguished Network Architect, AT&T and ETSI ISG NFV Representative; and Ralph Santitoro, Director of Strategic Market Development, Fujitsu Network Communications and MEF Board Member.
5. Real World Deployment Experience With 100G Optical Transport & 100GE Technologies, 12:20 p.m. - 1:10 p.m. Thursday Oct. 3
2013 can rightly be thought of as the year that 100G broke through commercially. As both a transport technology and Gigabit Ethernet service, 100G finally has passed a major tipping point in affordability, making it less expensive than deploying 10x10G service to meet customer needs, and more effective in many cases than using 10G or 40G to address transport bandwidth requirements. As more carriers deploy the technology, it is time to hear more about early deployment experiences, how carriers have deployed 100G, what they have learned from the choices they made, and how 100G is affecting carrier competition. This session, led by Sterling Perrin, senior analyst, Heavy Reading, also will look into future system capabilities expected from vendors, as well as what will be the next big "G" after 100G. Panelists include Steve Nocella, EVP Network Operations, XO Communications; Shamim Ahktar, Senior Director, Network & Technology Strategy, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK); and Ricardo Torres, Director of Product Marketing, VeEX Inc.
— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading
Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Ethernet & SDN Expo, a Light Reading Live event that takes place on October 2-3, 2013 at the Javits Center in New York City. Co-located with Interop, Light Reading's Ethernet & SDN Expo will focus on how the convergence of Carrier Ethernet 2.0 with emerging carrier software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies could change the whole telecom landscape for service providers. For more information, or to register,