Guru Parulkar : 2011 Plenary Session


Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Location: Fisher Conference Center, Arrillaga Alumni Center

"OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking"
10:45am - 11:15am


OpenFlow/Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a new approach to networking that has the potential to enable on-going network innovation in a production setting. Key aspects of SDN include: separation of data and control planes; a uniform vendor agnostic interface called OpenFlow between control and data planes; logically centralized control plane, realized using a network OS, that constructs and presents a logical map of the entire network to services or control applications on top; and slicing and virtualization of the underlying network. With SDN networks a researcher, network administrator, or third party can introduce a new capability by writing a software program that simply manipulates the logical map of a slice of the network.

Researchers around the world are starting to deploy SDN networks for research and limited production use. SDN also forms the network substrate of NSF's GENI infrastructure designed to enable research at scale in networking and distributed systems.

In this talk I will share the SDN story (so far): rationale, design, deployments, and coming together of an ecosystem.


Guru Parulkar ( is the Executive Director of the Clean Slate Program and Consulting Professor of EE at Stanford since August 2007. He has been in the field of networking for over 25 years and has worked in academia (Washington University in St. Louis and now Stanford), startups (Growth Networks and others), a large company (Cisco), a top tier venture capital firm (NEA), and a federal funding agency (NSF).