How much hotter can software-defined networking (SDN) get? The main way to find out is to head to the Ethernet & SDN Expo (ESDN) Oct. 2-3 at the Javits Center in New York City, where the potential for this revolutionary approach to networking will be picked apart from the telco perspective.
And there are plenty more reasons -- many work-related, others purely bacchanalian -- to go to the show previously known simply as Ethernet Expo (and co-located this year with Interop).
1. Coming to grips with Carrier SDN
Everyone's talking about SDN, right? But what does it mean for communications service providers? Is it the brave new world or just a bunch of hokum? Get yourself to ESDN, so you can hear from the likes of Margaret Chiosi, distinguished network architect at AT&T; Steve Alexander, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Ciena; and Caroline Chappell, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, about the potential for SDN in carrier networks. And, of course, you can mingle and chat with all the other attendees, who, like you, are wondering what impact SDN will have on the industry and their jobs.
2. Going to the Leading Lights Awards
Get to Manhattan the evening before the show, and join us for the industry party of the year, the Leading Lights Awards, on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Spaces are limited, but you can still get the chance to enjoy cocktails and dinner with your peers (including many service provider executives), find out who has won this year's prestigious awards and which individuals have been inducted into the Light Reading Hall of Fame, see the Light Reading team make absolute fools of themselves on video and live on stage (a priceless joy), and break your all-time personal record for tequila slammers. Go on, you know you want to. Find out more and get your ticket right here.
3. Get within sniffing distance of John Chambers
That's right, you can get heady on the smell of success by attending the keynote address by Cisco CEO John Chambers, who will deliver a keynote address at 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2 -- no doubt in his usual walkabout style. Chambers follows in the slipstream of Ciena's Steve Alexander and is followed by Mike Rouleau, senior vice president of business development and strategy at TW Telecom, and AT&T's Chiosi. That's quite the lineup. And right in the middle of that group, you can find out just how cuddly Light Reading founder Steve Saunders can be when handed 300 seconds at the podium. (Is "cuddly" the right word?)
4. Meet SDN's kissing cousin, NFV
Yeah, SDN's hot, but many telcos see it as a long-term issue. Network functions virtualization (NFV), though, is much more immediate. That's why many of the world's Tier 1 carriers have formed a special interest group to figure exactly what NFV could do for their agility, relevancy, market responsiveness, and efficiency, among other things. There will be plenty of discussion and debate at ESDN, including a keynote address by AT&T's Chiosi (a key individual in the aforementioned special interest group) about how NFV can be realized in telco networks and the major hurdles that need to be overcome en route. (See: Forecasting the NFV Opportunity, Answering the NFV Management Challenge, and Carriers Peer Into Virtual World.)
5. What's hot in Carrier Ethernet?
What's that you're asking? "What's hot in Carrier Ethernet?" Look no further, schnookielumps. The ESDN conference sessions will provide updates and insights into Carrier Ethernet 2.0, Carrier Ethernet and cloud innovation, 100GigE, Ethernet in mobile backhaul networks, and more. It's where it's at. Check out the ESDN conference agenda.
6. And speaking of backhaul…
The deployment of packet technologies in mobile backhaul networks has been a critical topic for years and remains so as 4G traffic volumes grow, data traffic management becomes ever more business critical, and packetized voice applications demand service quality on mobile networks. Serious stuff, eh? ESDN has carrier perspectives as well as a reality check from Heavy Reading senior analyst Patrick Donegan (a.k.a. Captain Backhaul).
7. Show me the floor, sir
It's not all about conference sessions and parties, you know. The ESDN exhibition center contains a wealth of insight and all the latest technology developments from the hottest vendors in the market. There's always a good buzz on the show floor. If Ethernet Expos of years past are anything to go by, there will be some high jinks to be had (as the Brits amongst us would say).
8. Orchestration -- batons not required
Critical to the introduction of SDN and NFV capabilities in production carrier networks is a new approach to network asset and application management and the enablement of network automation and orchestration. But how is this attained? Heavy Reading senior analyst Caroline Chappell will be hosting a critical session, "Network Automation & Orchestration With Carrier SDN & NFV." This session will look at the real-time OSS requirements that operations teams and their vendor partners are facing. After all, how do you configure and manage a virtualized wide area network and implement the technologies that will enable cloud and virtual network functions orchestration? Thinking caps and notebooks are essential tools for this Oct. 2 discussion.
9. Meet the Heavy and Light Reading teams
Ever wondered what the Heavy Reading analysts and Light Reading editors really look, sound, and smell like? This is your chance to find out, especially at the informal post-show networking gatherings. Beer, banter, and business cards make for a heady combination.
10. Networking and partying
Critical to the success of any industry event is the opportunity to network with your peers and let your hair/beard down. In addition to the mayhem and excitement of the Leading Lights Awards (see item No. 2), there will be plenty of opportunities to meet, greet, share, debate, and learn with the other delegates, speakers, and hangers on (a.k.a. the news media). Alcohol is not mandatory but can sometimes help.
There are plenty of other reasons to get your physical and mental self to ESDN. Feel free to share your favorites on the message board below. And I hope to see you in the Big Apple for the show.
In the meantime, you can follow the pre-show news and developments at our Ethernet & SDN Expo show site.
— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading
Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Ethernet & SDN Expo, a Light Reading Live event that will take place Oct. 2-3 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 technologies could change the whole telecom landscape for service providers. For more information, or to register, click here.