Title: Software Defined Networking

Time: 10:00am, May 18, 2010 (Tuesday)

Place: Main Building Lecture Hall of Network Research Center (中央主楼网络中心报告厅)

Speaker: Prof. Nick McKeown

          Electrical Engineering Department Computer Science Department Stanford University


The health of the Internet, of networking in general, is currently threatened by two troubling trends. First, the forwarding paths of routers switches have become increasingly complex, with much of the functionality embedded in custom hardware. Second, with so much focus on designing custom hardware, network management has languished in a comparatively primitive state. Moreover, end users are unable to innovate with new management techniques because networking software is mostly closed proprietary.

There is a big change happening. We believe the industry is heading towards Software Defined Networking (SDN), with the following attributes: (1)Software-Defined Forwarding: Forwarding functionality is defined by software, not custom hardware. (2)Separation of Control from Datapath: The software, intelligence, is being lifted up out of the datapath so that a global control plane can observe control the network in a unified way. (3)Open Interfaces: OpenFlow (www.openflow.org) is emerging as an open stard for the hardware interface, NOX (www.noxrepo.org), is an open-source software platform that provides global abstractions.

Our goal is to promote the development use of Software-Defined Networking technologies. We are working to develop the technologies, stardize the interfaces, help companies adopt the SDN approach, deploy it in commercial networks, datacenters, on college campuses.


Nick McKeown (PhD/MS UC Berkeley ‘95/‘92; B.E Univ. of Leeds, ‘86) is a Professor of Electrical Engineering Computer Science, Faculty Director of the Clean Slate Program at Stanford University. From 1986-1989 he worked for Hewlett-Packard Labs in Bristol, Engl. In 1995, he helped architect Cisco‘s GSR 12000 router. In 1997 Nick co-founded Abrizio Inc. (acquired by PMC-Sierra), where he was CTO. He was co-founder CEO of Nemo ("Network Memory") , which is now part of Cisco.