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OFC 2017 Show Floor Programs: Hot Topics Presented by Industry for Industry

By Casimer deCusatis

As we get ready for OFC 2017 this coming March, it’s easy to be just a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of things to do during the convention. With technical papers, plenaries and keynotes, Market Watch, Short Courses, rump session, and so much more, a bit of advance planning will help you get the most out of your OFC experience. A great place to start is the OFC attendee program , which provides a convenient overview of the week. But in this month’s blog, I’d like to focus on the exhibit hall show floor programming

There are three theaters on the exhibit hall floor, which run a series of presentations all day long March 21-23. You can attend as many of these events as you like, included with your free OFC Exhibit Pass Plus registration. This year, the show floor programming promises to be particularly interesting, as OFC invites guest speakers from leading industry groups to discuss a long list of hot topics including the following:

  • Network analytics for next generation optical transport (sponsored by the IEEE Big Data initiative). As software-defined abstractions continue to scale out in hyperscale data centers, the concept of automated, policy-driven interconnects is being extended to the WAN. Over the last year, telemetry derived from big data sets has become increasingly important, and now presents several unique challenges. A typical WAN isn’t as homogeneous as a data center (from both a hardware and software perspective), making it harder to automate.  Performance metrics are also quite different (latency variation in the WAN can be 3 to 9 orders of magnitude larger than within a data center). A panel of technical experts from various service providers (traditional telecom, cable, and cloud/content) will discuss the value of network streaming telemetry and data‐analytics in next generation WAN transport.
  • Fog reshapes computing and networking (sponsored by IEEE Cloud Computing and Open Fog Consortium). Far more than just another buzzword, fog computing refers to distributing compute, storage, and networking services closer to the end user, rather than limiting control to a small number of massive clouds. This has potential benefits for the emerging Internet of Things, 5G, and embedded artificial intelligence applications. This panel uses real world use cases to illustrate how fog can fundamentally reshape end-to-end network architectures.
  • On-board Optics The Consortium for Onboard Optics (COBO) panel will take a look at some of the technical challenges that have been addressed over the past two years, and what’s next for this consortium (including the activities of the recently formed coherent working group).
  • Ethernet: The Fracturing and Burgeoning Market.  Organized by the Ethernet Alliance this session will discuss what’s next for the protocol that’s driving the vast majority of network interconnect sales, including proposed standards for 50GbE, 100GbE (2X50G), 200GbE (4X50G) and 400GbE (8X50G and 4X100G).  An alphabet soup of new form factors (SFP-DD, microQSFP, QSFP-DD, CFP8, OSFP, CFP16), optics form factors (100GBASE-SR4, SR2, LR4, LR2, FR2, FR, DR, DR4 ), and multisource agreements (CWDM4-2km, CLR4-2km, WDM4-10km, WDM4-20km and WDM4-40km ) are in contention for next generation networks; this panel helps you sort out the hype from the reality as we consider the likely future for Ethernet.
  • LSO Enables Dynamic Third Network Services for Cloud Content and Service Providers (sponsored by the Metro Ethernet Forum). It’s clear that lifestyle service orchestration (LSO) is inhibiting service providers from realizing the full potential of software defined network virtualization. LSO encompasses all network domains that require coordinated inter-operator end-to-end management and control, making it a serious challenge to deliver secure, high quality cloud services. This session looks at the business drivers for agile, automated, cloud-connected connectivity services. 
  • Open Packet WDM (sponsored by the Telecom Infra Project). TIP is a new initiative which advocates Open Packet DWDM (a combination of packet and DWDM technologies for metro and long haul fiber transport).  Based on open specifications and a separation of hardware and software, this effort aims to enable anyone who wants to contribute components or code to the optical transport environment. 

These are just a few of the hot topics that you can see at the OFC show floor, the complete list can be found here.  Drop me a line on Twitter (@Dr_Casimer) and let me know which session was your favorite; I might use it in a future blog. 

Posted: 1 February 2017 by Casimer deCusatis | with 0 comments

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The views expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC)  or its sponsors.

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