OPEN: A Platform for Network Innovations


Date Thursday December 16th 2010
Time 6:00-7:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium, PARC

PARC Forum

OPEN is a new approach to networking that has the potential to enable on-going network innovation in a production setting. Key aspects of OPEN include: separation of data and control planes; a uniform vendor agnostic interface called OpenFlow between control and data planes; logically centralized control plane, realized using a network OS, that constructs and presents a logical map of the entire network to services or control applications on top; and slicing and virtualization of the underlying network. In OPEN a researcher, network administrator, or third party can introduce a new capability by writing a software program that simply manipulates the logical map of a slice of the network.

Researchers around the world are starting to deploy OPEN networks for research and limited production use. OPEN also forms the network substrate of NSF’s GENI infrastructure designed to enable research at scale in networking and distributed systems.

In this talk I will share the OPEN story (so far): rationale, design, deployments, and coming together of an ecosystem.


Guru Parulkar ( is the Executive Director of Clean Slate Program and Consulting Professor of EE at Stanford since August 2007. He has been in the field of networking for over 25 years and cherishes opportunities he has had to work with great people. Guru has worked in academia (Washington University in St. Louis and now Stanford), startups (Growth Networks and others), a large company (Cisco), a top tier venture capital firm (NEA), and a federal funding agency (NSF).

Before Stanford, Guru spent four years at National Science Foundation (NSF) and worked with the broader research community and NSF CISE team to champion and create programs such as GENIFuture Internet Design, and Network of Sensor Systems. He received NSF Director's award for Program Management excellence.
Before NSF, Guru spent four years in Silicon Valley doing successful and not so successful startups such as Growth Networks,  Tenaya Networks, Sceos (Ruckus Wireless), and Nevis Networks and worked with accomplished entrepreneurs, engineers, and business leaders. He received NEA's Entrepreneurship Award in 2001 for Growth Networks.
Before startups, Guru spent over 12 years at Washington University in St. Louis where he was a Professor of Computer Science and Director of Applied Research Laboratory and worked with Jon Turner, Jerry Cox and a group of very creative graduate students to lead research and prototyping of high performance networking and multimedia systems such as  the virtual memory system of NetBSD and FreeBSD Unix (Chuck Cranor), APIC gigabit network interface (Zubin Dittia and others), router plug-in software (Dan Decasper and Zubin Dittia), packet striping algorithms (Hari Adiseshu), multimedia on demand server and service (Milind Buddhikot), and real Time upcall system for QoS for NetBSD (R. Gopal) and others.
Guru received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Delaware in 1987 (advisor: Dave Farber) at the time when UDEL was at the center of exciting developments in networking including CSNET, NSFNET, Memnet, gigabit testbeds, and others. He is a recipient of Alumni Outstanding Achievement award and Frank A. Pehrson Graduate Student Achievement award from the University of Delaware.

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