ONUG Spring 2016

I just returned home from ONUG Spring 2016 in Mountain View CA. I was lucky enough to be invited by my buddies Steven and Tom of Tech Field Day. More and more people are talking about ONUG over and WOOT I was finally able to attend!

I'm blogging my thoughts on the event in hopes to encourage more people and companies to attend and get involved with the ONUG community. They are doing great work and its only going to get better!

ONUG Overview

For those not familiar with ONUG, their Mission statement:

"The ONUG Mission is to enable greater choice and options for IT business leaders by advocating for open interoperable hardware and software-defined infrastructure solutions that span across the entire IT stack in an effort to create buisness value."

I see ONUG as a group that pushes for industry adoption of "open" networking and community supported interoperability between vendors.

The Vision

Up until this conference, I thought ONUG was just a conference highlighting companies or open standards that worked towards their own mission. I quickly found out ONUG is going beyond this and actually developing working groups. As of this post, here are the current working groups.

- Virtual Networks/Overlays
- Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN)
- Traffic Monitoring/Visibility
- Network State Collection, Correlation, and Analytics
- Common Tools for Automated Initial Configuration & Change Management
- SDN Federation/Operability
- Software-Defined Security Services
- Network Services Broker
- Open Hybrid Cloud

While at the conference a number of industry initiatives were announced to help push open networking deeper into the industry. Several sessions had some heated conversations on how to move forward. It was great! Geek talk at its highest. Sad part was we only had an hour...

The Conference

ONUG is just starting to pick up momentum in the community so conferences are still small compared to other established conferences. ONUG is about the community and throughout the conference ONUG polled for onions and comments via a mobile app and posted the results during sessions to gauge the audiences view compared to the presentation. They want to know what we have to say.

From the start, ONUG is a packed conference with little time between session, outside of lunch. Multiple times sessions ran long or delayed causing the schedule to back up. Not too big of a deal but this cut into lunch or bleed into the evening.

Just like Fall ONUG 2015 SD-WAN was a hot topic along with automation and white-box switching. Unfortunately I was unable to attend any of the "closed-door" sessions since I was attending with Tech Field Day and considered "press"

Overall there was some good sessions. The General theme seemed to be focused on how we will embrace these changes and improve our day-to-day. There where a lot of questions and comments but answers are still up in the air.

The biggest negative for me was with audience involvement during Q&A. I understand wanting the audiences voice but it turned into random comments instead of active engagement of the topic and completely derailed the presenters. This happens way too much in conferences and drives me mad.

Impressions and take-aways

My biggest takeaway from ONUG spring 2016 is the open networking movement is not just about networking and white-box Route/Switch. This covers the whole stack, datacenter, storage, servers, containers, Enterprise and even developers.

ONUG was a fun conference and showed me what the community is doing to solve modern issues. I hope to never miss another ONUG again!

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