ONS 2012 Wrap

I took the redeye back last night from SJC and I assumed by the time I started writing this post I would have distilled ONS 2012 down to a few salient thoughts.  So far, I got nothing.  I have some thoughts, but I assumed I would have developed a set of profound conclusions.  This is the disappointing aspect of ONS 2012 for me; a lot of talent on the stage over two days and not a lot of thought provoking dialog.  I am sure others will see it differently.

Take the Google presentations as an example.  By the press coverage you would like that Google unveiled the warp drive.  Google has been talking about this in bits and bytes for a few years.  I heard Bikash Koley present the machine backbone and diurnal backbone at the LigthReading conference in NYC in 2009 or 2010.  What would be more interesting to me is not what Google has done in the WAN, but what Google is doing inside the data center today!  What are they doing today, not what they did over the past few years.  What Google is working on today is a potential leading indicator, but I also understand that the Google team is more inclined to talk about projects that are completing.  My point is that a real value to the networking community at large would be how Google plans to apply or could apply their OpenFlow WAN in the DC.  Forward thinking potential uses cases, pros and cons, strategies to be hashed out…that would be helpful and intriguing.

I thought there was a huge opportunity for vendors to present thought provoking, disruptive solutions – instead most the presentations were pretty high level with the exception of academic presentations.  Maybe ONS needs a format change from panels to speakers where vendors are given 25-45 minutes to say something meaningful.  ONS could take submissions for subject talks like TED (note I have never been to TED).  It was not all bad, I thought Urs Holzle’s keynote was really enjoyable and John Vrionis had the best presentation of the event because his presentation forced the listener to agree or disagree.  Both of those presentations were bookends of the conference.  Maybe I expect too much, but I would really like to hear some technology and solution debates with the gloves off.  This is not T-ball.

In all I thought the event was an excellent networking event, I just expected to hear more discussion of this versus that and why this is better than that and the reasoning to go along with the argument.


* It is all about the network stupid, because it is all about compute. *

** Comments are always welcome in the comments section or in private. ** 

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