MobiHoc 2009 Keynote
"Software Defined Mobile Networks"

Professor Nick McKeown

Keynote Speaker: Professor Nick McKeown, Stanford University

There is a general trend towards "cleaving apart" computer and networking systems, abstracting the layers below, and providing a platform for competition and innovation above. For computers this happened first with operating systems, and now virtualization. In wireless, software defined radios promise greater programmability, and faster innovation. But in-between, in the network, where the division of responsibility between hardware and software is less clear, the right programmable platform has been elusive, as we have explored active networks, network processors, and software routers. An emerging trend indicates that more and more of the infrastructure - for wired and wireless networks - will be defined in software outside the datapath.

This is great news for researchers as the infrastructure will be more open, more programmable, and virtualized to allow experimental networks to co-exist on the same datapath. This is great news for the industry, as it will accelerate innovation. It may also lead to the separation of network service providers from the underlying infrastructure. This talk will be a call to arms for us all to embrace and help this trend along, as it makes the network a better place for all. I will also describe some of the steps we are taking at Stanford in this direction.

Nick McKeown (PhD/MS UC Berkeley '95/'92; B.E Univ. of Leeds, '86) is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Faculty Director of the Clean Slate Program at Stanford University. From 1986-1989 he worked for Hewlett-Packard Labs in Bristol, England. In 1995, he helped architect Cisco's GSR 12000 router. In 1997 Nick co-founded Abrizio Inc. (acquired by PMC-Sierra), where he was CTO. He was co-founder and CEO of Nemo ("Network Memory") , which is now part of Cisco.

Nick McKeown is the STMicroelectronics Faculty Scholar, the Robert Noyce Faculty Fellow, a Fellow of the Powell Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and recipient of a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. In 2000, he received the IEEE Rice Award for the best paper in communications theory. Nick is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK), the IEEE and the ACM. In 2005, he was awarded the British Computer Society Lovelace Medal, and in 2009 the IEEE Kobayashi Computer and Communications Award. Nick's research interests include the architecture of the future Internet, tools and platforms for networking teaching and research.


Sponsored by ACM SIGMOBILE. Supported by US NSF Foundation and NEC Labs America.