IEEE Conference on Network Function Virtualization and Software Defined Networks
27-29 November 2018 – Verona, Italy

Keynote Speakers

Keynote talk #1

Title: NFV Infrastructure and SDN Evolution Towards 5G

Speaker: Martin Halstead

Organization: Chief Technologist, Strategy and Planning, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Telco Segment


Martin Halstead is the worldwide Chief Technologist, Strategy and Planning for HPE Telco Servers. Prior to this role, Martin was worldwide Chief Technologist for Communications, Media and Entertainment within HPE’s BEST (Business Development, Enablement, Solutions & Technology) organisation.

Martin has in-depth knowledge of industry trends in SDN and NFV with over 20 years experience specializing in Communications Services Provider networking environments where he lead several engineering teams in developing innovative networking solutions.

Prior to joining HPE, Martin has held senior engineering leadership positions at Nortel Networks, FirstMark Communications and Nexagent which was acquired by EDS. He has co-authored several Internet Drafts, as well as holding a patent on Inter Service Provider communications networking.

Martin attended the University of West London where he majored in Computer Studies. He is based in Maidenhead in the United Kingdom.



Enterprise derived Infrastructure and SDN solutions supporting the Telecoms industry have evolved markedly since the introduction of NFV a few years ago. That trend is accelerating as deployments of network functions on industry standard servers becomes mainstream. Martin Halstead from HPE discusses how the NFV infrastructure and SDN markets have evolved, what is changing as Telcos look to move workloads outside their main data centers and what needs to be factored in when deploying future telecoms architectures such as 5G.



Keynote talk #2

Title: OpenStack in the Open Networking Ecosystem

Speaker: Ildiko Vancsa

Organization: OpenStack Foundation


 Ildikó started her journey with virtualization during the university years and has been in connection with this technology different ways since then. She started her career at a small research and development company in Budapest, where she was focusing on areas like system management and business process modelling and optimization. Ildikó got in touch with OpenStack when she started to work in the cloud project at Ericsson in 2013. She was a member of the Ceilometer and Aodh core teams, now she drives NFV related feature development activities in projects like Nova and Cinder and leading the Edge Computing related efforts in the community. Beyond code and documentation contributions she is also very passionate about on boarding and training activities, which is one of her focus areas within the OpenStack Foundation.


OpenStack is an IaaS layer open source cloud platform with a modular architecture by providing a variety of services to choose from to build a highly customized system that fulfills the user demands. It also serves as an integration engine by being highly pluggable which makes it a natural fit for the use cases and needs of the NFV space. The presentation will give a brief overview of OpenStack and introduce the base services it provides and it will also highlight projects and functionality to show how it fits into the Networking Ecosystem as a software package.

As in open source environments, collaboration is crucial the session will show how OpenStack works together with other communities in the area of Telecom and NFV.

As we are approaching 5G this the talk will also mention the latest collaborative efforts around Edge Computing to identify use cases and requirements and to provide technical solutions that address these.



Keynote talk #3

Title: Running NFV Service Chains at the True Speed of the Underlying Hardware

Speaker: Dejan Kostic

Organization: KTH (Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden)



Dejan Kostic is a Professor of Internetworking at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, where he is the Head of the Communication Systems Department and the Head of the Network Systems Laboratory. He is also associated with the Decisions, Networks and Analytics (DNA) Laboratory of RISE Research Institutes of Sweden. His research interests include Distributed Systems, Computer Networks, Operating Systems, and Mobile Computing.

Dejan Kostic obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Duke University. He spent the last two years of his studies and a brief stay as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, San Diego. He received his Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Dallas, and his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering and Information Technology from the University of Belgrade (ETF), Serbia. From 2006 until 2012 he worked as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the School of Computer and Communications Sciences at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne), Switzerland. In 2010, he received a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Investigator Award. From 2012 until June 2014, he worked at the IMDEA Networks Institute (Madrid, Spain) as a Research Associate Professor with tenure. He is a Professor of Internetworking at KTH since April 2014. In 2017, he received a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Award.



Following the success of Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is poised to dramatically change the way network services are deployed. NFV advocates running chains of network functions (NFs) implemented as software on top of commodity hardware. The emerging 100-Gbps deployments will soon challenge the
packet processing limits of commodity hardware. As an illustration, the available time to process a 64-byte packet at 100 Gbps is only 5 nanoseconds.

In this talk I will present our vision for running NFV service chains at the true speed of the underlying hardware. First, I will introduce SNF, a framework that synthesizes network function service chains by eliminating redundant I/O and repeated elements, while consolidating stateful cross layer packet operations across the chain. SNF uses graph composition and set theory to determine traffic classes handled by a service chain composed of multiple elements. It then synthesizes each traffic class using a minimal set of new elements that apply single-read-single-write and early-discard operations. Second, I will describe Metron, an NFV platform that achieves high resource utilization by jointly exploiting the underlying network and commodity servers’ resources. This synergy allows Metron to: (i) offload part of the packet processing logic to the network, (ii) use smart tagging to setup and exploit the affinity of traffic classes, and (iii) use tag-based hardware dispatching to carry out the remaining packet processing at the speed of the servers’ fastest cache(s), with zero intercore communication. With commodity hardware assistance, Metron deeply inspects traffic at 40 Gbps and realizes stateful network functions at the speed of a 100 GbE network card on a single server. I will conclude the talk by presenting our future research directions.