More than 15 vendors, which will be divided into categories of SD-WAN and virtual networks/overlays, will take part in the contests. Participants will have five minutes to give their PoC demonstrations before attendees vote on the winners in each category.
While awards will be presented to the winners, the multi-vendor PoCs are really about validating the Open Networking User Group’s mission of finding the right mix of services for the changing IT environment.
“One thing I hope we’re able to do at this ONUG is celebrate the accomplishments of the community,” says Nick Lippis, the organization’s co-chairman and co-founder. “The first working groups have gone through white papers, feature verification, and now to multivendor proofs-of-concept.”
After previously focusing on the networking space, ONUG is looking to broaden its charter, Lippis says. He points to three areas that will be important at ONUG Fall.
The first is that IT models — the way that IT executives are consuming and buying IT products and services — are changing. “That is having a ripple effect all across the industry and the entire IT value chain, so we’ll talk a lot about that,” he says.
The second item up for discussion is the demand for a new skill set within the IT community, “and that’s really focusing around computer sciences running IT organizations, and whole-stack engineers.” The third area is that while SDN is important, it’s one piece of a much larger transition towards software-defined infrastructure in the context of open IT frameworks.
With consumption models changing, along with the advent of cloud and mobile services, purchasing cycles are also changing as companies, which in ONUG’s case are mostly large banks, move away from proprietary stacks toward more software-defined stacks and more open software.
So does winning a multivendor PoC award provide validation towards moving toward a new IT model, and confirming ONUG’s direction? Lippis says it’s a start.
“This is the first way that we can communicate to the vendor community which one of these PoCs really map into their [attendees’] new IT consumption models,” he says. “I think those winners will be a proxy toward how the IT consumption models are changing and how the community votes with their checkbook.”