OFCnet; information from OFC 2022, March 4-14, 2022


Starting in 2023 OFCnet brings a new opportunity to the exhibition to demonstrate products, concepts, solutions, research and architectures in a live high speed optical network connected to the leading research and education networks worldwide. This increased focus on designing and building next generations Optical Networks will expand exposure on connectivity, emerging technologies, Quantum Computer networks, programmability and network software applications for big data applications.

OFCnet has been created in partnership with CENIC. CENIC connects California to the world — advancing education and research statewide by providing the world-class computing network essential for innovation, collaboration, and economic growth. Established in 1997, this nonprofit organization operates the California Research and Education Network (CalREN), a high-capacity computer network with more than 8,000 miles of optical fiber. The network serves over 20 million users across California, including the vast majority of K-20 students together with educators, researchers, and individuals at other vital public-serving institutions. OFCnet is enabled by equipment on loan from leading

Extending CENIC to the OFC Exhibitor show Demo Zone creates new opportunities for exhibitors who collaborate with connected academic institutions to highlight advancements and capabilities to the OFC Community in live real-time fully operational wide area network environment. On-the-floor booth to booth fibre connectivity for on site optical demonstrations is also a feature of OFCnet. Speaker Forum will offer OFCnet demonstrators a platform to describe their accomplishments and demonstration details.

Exhibitors that wish to consider live optical network demonstrations may send enquiries to OFCnet@xxxx.xxx

Sunday 6 Mar
Jim Stewart and I walked the exhibition hall. It is pretty full and starts to look as a normal year.
  • We visited the CIENA booth, got our exhibition pass organised.
  • walked over to the OFCnet booth
  • OFCnet got first light working. Diagram:
  • Had a brief chat with Ryan Strowger from OFC, the lead on the exhibions at OFC and sponsor of OFCnet.

OFCnet proposition slides: OFCNet_V9.pdf

OFCnet OFCnet OFCnet
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OFCnet OFCnet
  • Walked over to the Ethernet Alliance booth, will be a great collaborator wioth OFCnet
  • Walked over to the Open Roadm booth, met there prof. Andrea Fumagalli from UTexas in Dallas.
  • Key is to find out what the concrete extra value will be when all these booths will get connected together and on the wide area optical networks.
    • What will they prove? Interop?
    • What applications will they enable?
    • How will they work together, what is their incentive?
  • Got exhibitor badge.

Monday 7 Mar
Prepared the info that I had as contribution from the UvA to the CIENA - OFCnet booth:

  • conference center WIFI is really bad, not more than 1 Mb/s
    • The OFCnet connection is one Million times faster than the entire bandwidth for the wireless!
  • wired is very expensive 10 Mb/s => 10k$
Went to special session on pandemic in 1AB. https://www.ofcconference.org/en-us/home/program-speakers/symposia/reflections-on-the-pandemic/
attendance looks low to me, similar to 2020.
  • Steve Alexander (CTO - CIENA)
    • talking about uptake of connectivity and digital divide
  • second speaker from NTT (Daisuke Shirai)
    • about video uptake during pandemic
    • utilization of optical network
    • uncompressed video on optical, whitebox transponder
    • services directly on optical
    • this is for high bandwidth optical connectivity
    • played large part in olympic games Tokyo video and audio
    • Think CineGrid @ OFCnet
    • remote production
    • security / encryption for securintg remote production of A/V
  • Bridging the Digital Divide, and the Future of Work, Presenter: Mischa Dohler, King’s College London
    • dig divide in the usa
    • who is driving networking
    • majority of schools connected
    • families can not afford connectivity
    • different dig divides mobile vs homebroadband
    • virtual reality
    • augmented reality, metaverse, digital twinning
    • 10 milliseconds rtt or less enables emotional bonds
  • Microsoft talk, impact COVID lockdowns on networks of Microsoft
    • exponential growth
    • multiple petabits
    • wan growth 40%
    • lockdown caused demands
    • cyberattacks went up enormously
    • drivers teams and office, mostly edu and less business
    • 10 B meeting minutes a day
    • scaling through azure
    • the xbox influence
    • no major network incidents because capacity planning
    • uses measurement of latency, go for lowest latency
    • prebuild 18 months of capacity supply in the network.
    • Some of this turned out to be used overnight…
    • Transatlantic cables got heavily ised as travel stopped.
    • Manages peering via bgp to balance internal and external load
    • best devops engineers do shifts in first line helpdesk and incidents
  • Verison
    • changing network consumption
    • wireless and part time working from home
    • conclusions (see photo):
      • Always keep backbone in good shape
      • make sure you have simulation tools available
      • make sure you are not dependent on single vendors
Lunch with Jim, Inder, Marc, Scott.

After Lunch talk with Inder.
  • funding integration of the Sense framework and Rucio <https://rucio.cern.ch> from CERN look up
  • ESnet is landing 800 in Bordeaux and UK / Bristol.
  • They do not know anyone anymore at SURFnet!
  • Scott Shenker working on extensible internet, may show up at OFC
Jim Stewart from UEN.
  • He talked at sc21 with booths & vendors, asked them 3 questions
    • why are you here
    • wat does it take to be here next year
    • what will attendees see
  • Some answers:
    • we are here because of the nvidea tour!
    • or another application specific tour.. eg storage, etc.
    • smaller ones want to associate with the big companies
    • big companies want to align with the providers

Had meeting with John Shalf from LBNL.

  • Discussed chiplets, mix and match functionalities
  • Discussed the positioning of ARM and Risc-5.
  • is researching data intensive processing
  • Discussed also the positioning of the library of the future
    • California digital library, curators of information!
    • true role!
    • blockbuster video
    • can bring me in contact with the right person.

Dinner at Nobu restaurant Gaslamp district. Very exclusive star level restaurant.

(H) Comfort Inn Gaslamp Convention Center, 660 G Street, San Diego, CA 92101 USA.

Tuesday 8 Mar
Went to OFCnet booth
  • started demo movie from Reggie in a loop form
  • have the presentation handy to explain the coupling between petrinet approach, blockchain and net control
  • The OFCnet booth has 1.6 Tb/s to the outside world. The WIFI did max 1.6 Mb/s, a factor of 1 Million less!
11hoo appointment with Dimitra Simeonedou from U-Bristol.
  • She will be chair OFC in 2024
  • Is now program chair, next year easy role
  • discussed the opportunities on OFCnet
  • Join forces with UvA to prep a demonstration in 2023
  • subject: 5G to optical network convergence on the showfloor with connectivity to data via Fabric to Bristol and U Amsterdam data Exchange
  • Needs support from CIENA, is good candidate to propose for funding
  • Also couple in 5G work from Chrysa Papagianni
  • Another longer term opportunity is the coupling of classical and quantum networking only on the show floor.
  • look at TIP
  • quantum on showfloor
  • convergence scenarios with cellular
  • OFCnet use as 5g to att and verison
  • UBristol bring mobile network
  • work 5g for campus
  • JISK and JANET to talk with with Ron Augustus
  • open 5g open environments
  • UK 5g exchange
Walked the exhibition hall.

Talked with Gi Vania from U-Texas, Dallas on their Open Roadm demo work.
  • They demonstrated work at INDIS and SC in the past
  • are big fan of the mode of demoing we created at SC and would love to see that at OFC
  • Still need brainstorming on what and how to show but are willing to brainstorm with us and be one of the launching demos

Went briefly to the reception for exhibitors.

  • I was recognized by Scott Carney, chief science and lead of the publisher team from Optica (organization that runs OFC)
  • Explained him OFCnet
  • agrees challenges and prices/awards are good idea
  • willing to help spreading the opportunities in plenaries and the magazines
  • agrees it can bring in new attendees to the conference if the good incentives are there.

Wednesday 9 Mar

  • Contact Dan Kilper in Dublin for European Q strategy
  • Build FlightCees Fabric node by Ciena
  • As for Amsterdam work with Chrysa, Paola, Florian, Christian, subcontract jp
  • security features demo
    • polarization attacks
    • security of control plane
  • two tracks, one on floor and one bring world on floor, sdn tracks and quantum tracks
  • demo zone as low threshold to do demo
  • comsoc, photonic and optica/osa
  • structure and governance for OFCnet, long range planning committee where Steve is chair. Think 3 year terms & commitments
  • vendor neutrality
  • OFCnet starts from proposals - ntrack, qtrack, ctrack components, experimental extension,
  • plan for next year, expectations
  • longer term, grow the show
  • network track in the program
  • fiber sensing, earthquake detection

Had 11h00 discussion with Ryan Strowger on what will be needed from the OFC organization, the foreseen governance and embedding. Need playbook. Suggested to go for the web names.

Thursday 10 Mar

10h15-10h45 Had an presentation and panel (Clark, Scott, Marc, me) in EXPO 3, Marc presented the slides, I gave some remarks, led the panel and entertained Q&A.

  • Explained the experimental nature of OFCnet, you are allowed to fail (if you do not fail you did not try hard enough)
  • features:
    • Capacity
    • Capability
    • Security
    • Network Convergence
    • Up to applications
  • Breakable network
  • long RTT across the world
  • Dark Fiber onsite and off-site (e.g. Quantum)
  • Attention on the entire range: components -> devices -> networks -> Applications
  • Different tracks: qnet, cnet, bnet, wnet, etc

Walked tech program and show floor.

Steve came to the booth just before exhibition closing time. Explained him: The OFC WIFI of the convention center never gave me more speed than 1.5 Mb/s
OFCnet was 1 million times faster at 1.6 Tb/s!

The OFCnet efforts have been successful. We had first light and we succeeded in making the case for such facility to many people from the Optica organization and the show floor participants. Marc is now well established as mr. OFCnet.

Had a brief after chat with Steve, Scott and Mark. All signs are green.
Wrapped up around 15h30, got the car to pick up the server from UCDS and left the conference.

Monday 14 Mar

Flight was smooth. Landed around 8h35. 10 minutes taxiing. No line at immigration. Half hour waiting for luggage.

Some epilogue:

Jim Steward (UEN) mailed me his thoughts in the form of a SWOT on OFCnet

  • knowledgeable and experienced group of dedicated technologists who can draw from past similar efforts
  • OFC leadership support
  • CIENA leadership support
  • Infrastructure in place, especially fiber connectivity
  • CENIC, SDSC participation
  • Engineers and competent technology staff involvement
  • Location and infrastructure
  • Research focus
  • expensive
  • Diminished willingness to travel
  • Development will evolve over years, delayed results
  • live network connecting booths on the floor to the outside world
  • Multi-vendor/carrier environment providing dev and lab environment opportunities
  • Participating vendors have access to researchers and other industry experts
  • Industry experts, researchers and other interested participants have access to a multi vendor, multi carrier environment
  • Opportunities to define research on a working network, prepare experiments, conduct experiments and publish results, also potential for invited talks and posters
  • Involve NSF program managers, develop NSF funded workshops
  • Vendor provided trainings and workshops, e.g. OTDR, fiber splicing and management best practices, OEO, etc.
  • OFCnet tour and other vertical tours
  • Training opportunities for OFCnet staff
  • Networking (professional relationship building) for all involved
  • withdrawal of support or perhaps under commitment from key stakeholders
  • Drawing from other older, established conferences and forums may be perceived as threatening
  • Fewer resources available going forward
  • Supply chain issues
Some of my final thoughts:

  • A problem we face is the 90-9-1 rule on the exhibition floor:
    • 90% components vendors
    • 9% device/interface builders
    • 1% network builders
  • OFCnet is geeky new, but also really needs new demonstrators and new organizations to attend.
  • With some work we may line up as first movers:
    • UCSD PRP-folks
    • Ethernet Alliance
    • OpenRoadm
    • U-Bristol+UVA on 5G-Optical convergence and smart city data exchange
  • For the future
    • Quantum Networking demonstrations on the showfloor only
  • To attract demo's and Proof of Concepts and Net-Building
    • set up a challenge and price / honorable highlighting in opening plenary
    • Make use of the EXPO's
  • To attract Academia
    • Awards for a number of categories
    • a birth of a feather and or workshop track
  • To think about
    • Should we have an equivalent of a top 500 list?