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Shelly Cadora speaking at TFI2014

Karen “Shelly” CadoraKaren “Shelly” Cadora will be joining us next week to speak at The Future of the Internet 2014: Defining Software Defined Networks!

A 16 year Cisco veteran and CiscoLive Hall of Fame Distinguished Speaker, Karen “Shelly” Cadora is currently a Technical Marketing Engineer for One Platform Kit (onePK) and other device-level APIs. She has worked in development and marketing for a variety of products and solutions, from security to voice to programmability. Shelly has a PhD from Stanford University and a CCIE in Routing and Switching.

Shelly was kind enough to provide some thoughts on the network of the future and how it may differ from today’s, here’s what she had to say:

The networks of the future will not be completely unrecognizable to those of us who’ve spent a good bit of our careers building and troubleshooting the networks of today.  Some fundamental characteristics of networks are determined by inescapable physical realities – geography, distance, the diversity of transport media.  But networks of the future will differ in important ways.

In the future, automation will become a central part of network management.  Device APIs will enable new platforms (as well as existing toolchains) to automatically provision, monitor and audit the network.

To enable automation, new kinds of abstractions will be required.  Forget customized screen-scraping for every vendor and software release.   No more crafting network-wide policies device by device.   With simpler, higher-level interfaces into the network, fewer people will need to know the obscure CLIs that we memorize today.

For all the excitement about separating and centralizing the network control plane, scale and resilience will mandate distributed intelligence in the network for a long time to come.   But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be pockets of deep innovation, particularly in greenfield and/or highly homogenous environments.  In these new landscapes for networks, parts of the control plane will shift to a centralized model and some applications will achieve tighter integration into the network.

The future is bringing software paradigms deep into networking.

Modularization, virtualization, programming interfaces – these are well-developed ideas in software development that will change how we define, deploy, interact with and monetize networks.   Networks won’t just be discrete boxes communicating over IETF-standardized protocols, but will expand to include modular pieces of software communicating over APIs, with monetizable services at every interface, and specialized hardware for particular use cases.

In short, network of the future will be a cyborg of sorts: embodied in the physical world but spanning virtual space, deeply indebted to hardware and deeply infiltrated by software, simultaneously distributed and centralized, sometimes customized and sometimes monolithic, loosely coupled in some places and tightly integrated in others.  The fundamental tension between “easy” and “programmable” will not be resolved any time soon, but there is material for innovation in the drive to  achieve both.

Keep this conversation going at TFI2014 next week (22 Aug) – Register Now!


August 14th, 2014 by | Posted in Events, SDN | Tags: , , , |

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