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China trip a success for InCNTRE lab director

Ron Milford promoted collaboration and sharing for increased global SDN compatibility.

During a recent trip to Beijing, Ron Milford, director of the Software Defined Networking (SDN) Lab at the Indiana Center for Network Translational Research and Education (InCNTRE), discussed the importance of collaboration and sharing to increased global SDN compatibility.

Milford travelled to China to attend the Global Open Networking & SDN Conference 2013. He gave a presentation covering issues in OpenFlow test specification development, along with lessons from the most recent Open Networking Foundation (ONF) PlugFest event held at InCNTRE in the US.

Nearly 1,300 people from 12 countries attended the conference last month. The conference's goal was to bring people together to discuss problems related to SDN and Open Networking, and where they see the technology going in the future.

"To plan from a global perspective and promote network innovation, the participants had an in-depth discussion on SDN, a key technology of Next Generation Internet -- accelerating the development of future Internet technologies and thereby establishing a platform of exchange, development discussion, and strategic cooperation for the global industrial community," said Liu Dong, chairman of the organizing committee.

Engineers from the Beijing Internet Institute (BII) attended Milford's presentation. BII is a Chinese lab that the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) recently certified as the first international testing laboratory. They also graciously hosted Milford's trip.

Prior to BII's certification, InCNTRE had been the only ONF-certified lab performing OpenFlow conformance testing in the world. The InCNTRE SDN Lab has been working with BII, providing technical assistance as they pursued ONF certification. BII has previous experience with other conformance programs including the IPv6 ready program, in which they test and certify devices' compatibility with the latest Internet Protocol revision.

"Their location and prior experience made them an ideal candidate to become the newest ONF certified test lab," Milford said. Although the BII lab is a potential competitor to InCNTRE, Milford said it's more important that we work together with new labs to achieve a high level of expertise with OpenFlow. "We want any testing lab to live up to the standards ONF has set," Milford noted. “And it benefits everyone if there is confidence in the ONF certification program, no matter where products are tested."

InCNTRE seeks to advance development, increase knowledge, and encourage adoption of OpenFlow and other standards-based SDN technologies. InCNTRE is supported by Indiana University, in collaboration with IU's Global Research Network Operations Center.