The Software Defined Network – Programmable City

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Goldney Hall, University of Bristol, UK

SDN Leaders Gather In Bristol U.K., For One Day Workshop, view the photos here.

Bristol Is Open and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the adoption of open Software-Defined Networking (SDN), gathered network industry leaders today for a workshop about “The Software Defined Network – Programmable City.” International participants from industry, academia, local government, and standards bodies joined more than twenty speakers for the workshop.

The emergence of smart technology in cities such as Bristol, is generating many Internet of Things (IoT) requirements that industry organizations like ONF will implement in future protocol development. As one of the leaders in liveable smart cities, Bristol will be an important resource for ONF, as a source of information in the development of future IoT specific standards.

Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation said:

 “ONF emphasizes an open, collaborative development process driven from the end-user perspective. Bristol is leading the way in deploying an open source software-defined network architecture at city-scale. Over time we expect this to lead to an extremely agile and dynamic, cost-effective, and adaptable architecture that gives unprecedented programmability and control.”

Dimitra SimeonidouBristol Is Open’s Chief Technology Officer and Professor of High Performance Networks at the University of Bristol said:

“Since the outset, Bristol Is Open has been committed to providing an open, technology-agnostic environment. We are close to bringing this live. We are offering an SDN controlled City infrastructure to innovators so they can learn how to programme and deliver new smart city experiences. Cloud services and IoT standards developed by Hypercat and FiWare, will enable the community of developers in Bristol to collaborate and scale smart city applications.”

Inder Monga, the Deputy of Technology for the Scientific Networking Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and one of the keynote speakers at the workshop said,

“The Bristol Is Open initiative is the first program of its kind to blend cutting-edge network innovations with a geographical community. I am excited to see the new possibilities and pathways that become open to the citizens of Bristol with this smarter, programmable Internet infrastructure.”

Monga also serves as the Chief Technology Officer of ESnet, a DOE user facility that has been a thought leader in programmable network technologies and serves the U.S. Department of Energy with a dedicated network for science.

Other speakers at the day-long workshop were:

  • Justin Anderson, chairman & CEO Flexeye, & Hypercat
  • David Butler, senior R&D engineer, BBC Research and Development
  • Ramon Casellas, senior researcher, CTTC
  • Mischa Dohler, head of the Centre for Telecoms Research, King’s College London
  • Ray Le Maistre, editor-in-chief, Light Reading
  • Jorg-Peter Elbers, vice president of advanced technology, ADVA Optical Networking
  • Sergi Figuerola, chief technology and innovation officer, i2CAT
  • Simon Fletcher, senior group manager of products, NEC
  • Stace Hipperson, founder and CEO, Hyperglance
  • Andrew Lord, head of core optics research, British Telecom
  • Inder Monga, division deputy for technology and chief technology officer, ESnet
  • Armin Mayer, marketing leader, GE Lighting, EMEA
  • Professor Any Nix, dean of engineering, University of Bristol
  • Rich Pancost, director of Cabot Institute, University of Bristol
  • Nick Parson, CTO and vice president of engineering, Polatis
  • Dick Penny, managing director, Watershed
  • Dan Pitt, executive director, Open Networking Foundation
  • David Salmon, research support unit manager, Jisc/Janet
  • Dimitra Simeonidou, chief technology officer, Bristol Is Open
  • Nick Sturge, centre director, Engine Shed
  • Dirk Trossen, principal engineer, Interdigital
  • Paul Wilson, managing director, Bristol Is Open

Bristol gets smarter with launch of ground-breaking innovation project

Bristol is set to see the launch of its first joint venture between the city council and the University of Bristol. In a move to combine University research and advanced technology with council owned infrastructure, the company will develop an innovative high-performance, high-speed network in Bristol.

The company, known as Bristol Is Open, will be brought to life by the collaboration between both organisations, subject to approval by the council’s Cabinet on 3 February.

This new initiative will create an experimental high speed network where technology companies, research organisations and small and medium-sized enterprises will be able to develop and experiment with the next generation of network technology; creating a real-world test-bed to help understand issues such as mobility, health and energy efficiency in the modern city.

With funding secured from the ​Department of Culture, Media and Sport and Innovate UK, Bristol Is Open will seek to capture information about many aspects of city life, including energy, air quality and traffic flows. This is made possible by a unique City Operating System (CityOS), developed by Professor Dimitra Simeonidou and colleagues in the University’s High Performance Networks research group over the last five years.

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol said:

“This pioneering project has massive potential and will go further to cement Bristol’s growing international reputation as a collaborative laboratory for change.

“During our year as European Green Capital and beyond it will help people develop tomorrow’s technology and better understand how a modern city operates; linking things up in brand new ways and opening us up to all sort of possibilities.

“I’m looking forward to giving careful consideration to the joint venture proposal when it comes before Cabinet.”

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Bristol, added:

“Bristol Is Open will enable the people of Bristol to interact, work and play with their city. The project is a unique opportunity for the University and city council to work together to ensure the city is at the forefront of technological innovation.

“The University has invested £12 million in its Advanced Computing facilities since 2006, making it one of the country’s leading centres, and its supercomputer is a resource for the whole city. Some of the projects that will benefit from the joint venture are TOUCAN (Towards Ultimate Convergence of All Networks), SPHERE (a Sensor Platform for Healthcare in a Residential Environment) and ICIF (International Centre for Infrastructure Futures).

“TOUCAN is addressing the global demand for broadband communications by revolutionising the way communication networks are built and used, and SPHERE is developing sensor systems to monitor health and wellbeing in the home. This is an exciting time for the city.”

If approved, Bristol Is Open will allow for the trialling of new technologies in a range of industries including media broadcast, entertainment and culture. The project will also benefit the development of autonomous systems, robotics and advanced manufacturing in the city.

Stephen Hilton, Director of Bristol City Council’s Bristol Futures team, said:

“The coming together of the city council and the university in this historic joint venture is an opportunity for Bristol to offer the country a platform to face the difficulties of modern urban living head on. Growing city populations, climate change and scarcer resources are but a few of the growing problems cities face from Bristol to Bordeaux to Porto. Bristol Is Open will provide a test bed that enables researchers, companies and organisations from around the country to come together in the spirit of innovation, with the aim of exploring solutions on a city wide scale.

“Bristol has a reputation for being a city of innovation and a place where people can come to test their ideas, as recently recognised by our International Award for Urban Innovation from our sister city Guangzhou. Bristol Is Open and the infrastructure it will deliver is yet another example of this great city putting a bold first step forward on the long road to greener, more efficient urban living.”

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