The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

How Centralized should Centralized SDN Control and Orchestration be?

Thursday, 7 March, 12:45-14:15 
Theater II, Hall E

Session Description

Software defined wide-area networks are finally becoming a reality both in terms of solution availability and deployments. An important part of the SDN architecture is the control architecture for the solution: should the entire network be controlled from a single monolithic software that covers all functions, from controlling the network gear, to orchestrating services across a multi-domain and multi-layer network? Or is it better to separate the functionality into per-domain controllers and per-service orchestrators? Should traditional network management functions be part of this control architecture, or should they remain separate? Should the solution be built on open-source controllers, or proprietary control functions with standard-based interfaces between them? The differences between these approaches are not merely technical. They affect vendor lock-in, the strength of the ecosystem, the ability of vendors to innovate and the complexity of standardization. The panel will provide different viewpoints on the topic and foster a discussion around the pros and cons of each approach. Speakers will include architects from traditional service providers, webscale companies, SDN software vendors and equipment vendors.


Mark Lutkowitz, Principal, fibeReality, USA

Mark Lutkowitz has been a market research analyst and consultant in the telecom/data communications space for over three decades. He provides commentary on developments in the optical sector on fibeReality’s blog, including on SDN. Over the years, he has moderated many panel discussions, with the goal of sparking lively discussion among the participants.



Steve Plote, Optics Consulting Engineer, Nokia, USA

Technical Advisor







David Friedman, Senior Product Manager, Cisco, USA
Ori Gerstel, CTO and Founder, Sedona Systems, Israel
Victor Ló​pez, Technology Expert, Telefonica gCTIO, Spain
Anees Shaikh, Network Architect, Google, USA
Anil Simlot, VP, Virtual Services Development and Support, CenturyLink, USA



David Friedman, Senior Product Manager, Cisco, USA

David Friedman has been working in the telecom industry for over 20 years primarily focused on manageability of optical products & multi-layer networks. He is currently a Senior Product Manager in Cisco’s Optical BU. He has been responsible for or influenced industry leading software including planning tools, network automation enablement, multilayer element and network management as well as SDN. He has an MS in Computer Science and holds 4 patents related to Optical management.

Ori Gerstel, CTO and Founder, Sedona Systems, Israel

Ori Gerstel is the founder/CTO of Sedona Systems. Until 2014, Ori was a Principal Engineer at Cisco, where he was responsible for the architecture of router-transport integration. Until 2002, Ori held senior system architecture positions at Tellabs and Nortel and IBM. Ori published ~100 papers in the main conferences and journals in the field, and several book chapters. He holds over 35 patents, and a similar number of pending patents. He serves as editor-in-chief of JOCN and steering committee member for OFC. Ori holds a Ph.D. degree from the Technion and is an IEEE and OSA Fellow.


Victor Ló​pez, Technology Expert, Telefonica gCTIO, Spain
Víctor López (M.Sc. 2005 - Ph.D. 2009) is a Technology Expert at the Technology and Planning for Transport, IP and Interconnection Networks department in Telefonica Global CTO. He works on the IP and optical processes of the Telefonica group and he is involved in research projects. He started his carrier in Telefónica I+D as a researcher (2004). He moved to Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in 2006, where he obtained the Ph.D and worked as an Assistant Professor at UAM (2009). He joined Telefonica I+D in 2011 as Technology specialist working on funded research project from the Telefonica group and the European Commission. He has co-authored more than 150 publications and contributed to IETF and ONF. Moreover, he is the editor of the book Elastic Optical Networks: Architectures, Technologies and Control.
Anees Shaikh, Network Architect, Google, USA
Anees Shaikh is a Network Architect in the Network Infrastructure team at Google where he works on management automation, cloud networking, and network reliability in Google’s production networks.  Prior to joining Google, he was the Chief SDN Architect at IBM where he was responsible for IBM's software-defined networking product architecture and technical strategy, including leading IBM’s open source networking engagements.
Anil Simlot, VP, Virtual Services Development and Support CenturyLink, USA
Anil Simlot is responsible for building the virtualization platforms for CenturyLink and enabling services on them.  Previously, he was responsible for the IP/Ethernet and Transport network architecture and design. During his twenty plus years in the industry, he has had different roles in Systems, Planning etc..  He has a MS in Computer Science from The Johns Hopkins University and another MS in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University.

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