Flowgrammable named Finalist in ONF OpenFlow Driver Competition

Posted by: Jasson Casey 7 years, 6 months ago in Competition, Open Networking Foundation, OpenFlow, Software Defined Networking



Today the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) announced the finalist of the OpenFlow Driver Competition, and I am happy to say that we were named a finalist. The other finalist named were CPqD and InfoBlox; CPqD is an international organization, with more than 1,300 professionals providing R&D in Information and Communication Technology. InfoBlox is a publicly-traded company providing technology for Automated Network Control.


We initially formed the Flowgrammable organization in May of 2013 as an exercise to learn OpenFlow and submit to the ONF competition. The submission was made on September 15th of 2013, and then we moved on to other activities. Our anticipation was high as we waited for the results.  On October 1, 2013 we received an update from the ONF that they had received 9 qualified entries and that judging would take some time.  The email suggested we would know by the end of October. Given what went in to the submission we had always been skeptical that evaluating the submission would be an easy endeavor, so while disappointing none of this news was unexpected.


By December 6th, 2013 the competition results were furthest from our thoughts. I had just spent a month traveling, giving talks on my language research, and had a few weeks to prepare for my PhD preliminary exam. Most of the team was equally engaged in other activities: product design, studying for finals, grading finals, etc. It was quite the pleasant surprise to return from a morning run and discover an email from the ONF letting us know we were a finalist.

I suspect we went through the phases that most people go through in similar situations. First was shock, we had stopped thinking about the competition for a while. Additionally, we made a few strategic decisions in our submission that came at a cost; this gave us enough doubt to suspect our advancement. Second was excitement, everyone had to call or IM each other for period of time to discuss what they couldn't believe. Third was curiosity, who were CPqD and InfoBlox, what did they submit, how did it work, etc. Finally, we got back to the drudgery of waiting.


Today the ONF has made their announcement and the wait is over, we have been publicly named a finalist. This feels like a great achievement, in May we needed an excuse to learn OpenFlow and by September we had submitted a high quality implementation of the protocol. This was only possible through the raw enthusiasm, intelligence, and dedication of the team. As with any group we had our ups and downs, but ultimately everyone persevered. I can't thank them enough for their hard work.


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