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ICYMI: Hackathon sparks development of new SDN applications

ICYMI: Student programmers create new SDN applications at HackIllinois; Cloud Ethernet Forum (CEF) changes its name to reflect new direction.

The potential of software-defined networking spurred students attending a recent hackathon to develop two new SDN applications governing firewall management and network congestion. More than 900 college students competed in the 36-hour HackIllinois hackathon at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, building 180 technical projects.

The winning project, entitled "Gatekeeper," lets users enable network firewall rules with a single phone call, allowing them to start or stop traffic on demand. The app uses OpenDaylight and Twilio, cloud-based unified communication software. The students suggested that Gatekeeper could be used for restricting children's access to the Internet, blocking traffic for an individual user and immediately opening or shutting down traffic to a network.

The runner up SDN app, "Protector," monitors a given network and limits users to a certain bandwidth usage, thus preventing high bandwidth users from clogging the network.

Ajay Malik, senior vice president of worldwide engineering and products at Meru Networks, one of the sponsors of the event, spoke to the students in a kickoff speech. He shared some of his comments on the Meru Networks blog.

"SDN is the coolest thing that has happened in networking since Wi-Fi," he said to them. "Whatever iPhone and Android did for consumer applications, SDN is doing it for the networking world."

To see a demonstration of the winning entry, click here

Cloud Ethernet Forum changes name, direction

Cloud Ethernet Forum (CEF) has changed its name to Open Cloud Connect (OCC) in an effort to illustrate the change and growth of the forum and its members since its inception in May 2013.

Since the organization announced the Open Cloud Project (OCP) last year, it has gained significant attention and has become the key focus for the group's ongoing cloud standards development drive.

"It was this that inspired the name change" said President James Walker. "When we launched the CEF, one of the key aims was for automated, secure, end-to-end, vendor agnostic cloud service enablement. Since then, given the strong response to the OCP, 'Open-ness' has taken pole position."

In addition to the name change, OCC announced the formation of the OpenCloud Committee, which will handle the work of the OpenCloud Project as well as the OpenCloud Lab.

The committee will make its first public showcase at Interop in Las Vegas from April 28-30 and will provide a full update of results to date.

Read the entire release here.

Ciena joins National Science Foundation's GENI project

To enhance its established SDN testbed and further collaborate with key research and education partners, Ciena has joined the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) project. This project supports "at scale" research in networking as well as various other areas of tech.

In addition to current SDN testing, Ciena's testbed will now be able to conduct a full range of research, based on the adaptation of the GENI model, to encourage the development of more flexible networks.

"It is exciting to see partners like Ciena join the GENI community and push the extremely high speed research infrastructures to new limits with their ability to scale from a 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) network today to 400 GbE in the near future, and beyond," said Cees de Laat, professor at the University of Amsterdam's Systems and Network Engineering Lab, Informatics Institute, in a statement.

Thanks to the collaboration, Ciena researchers say they will gain greater ability to work with external researchers to test new applications on a large scale network and predict real-world viability.

Read the full statement here.

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