Intel sees opportunity to set standards in networking (video)

7 Jul 2014

John Healy, general manager of the SDN division in the Communication and Storage Infrastructure Group at Intel

With the processing power just right, Intel now sees an opportunity to help set standards in software-defined networking (SDN) to transform and virtualise the networking industry, the company’s head of SDN John Healy said.

Healy was in Dublin last week to address the Open Tech Ireland gathering on SDN technology, presented in co-operation with the Irish Software Association, Intune Networks, KEMP Technologies, and Sanctum Networks.

Healy is the general manager of the SDN division in the Communication and Storage Infrastructure Group at Intel. He is responsible for leading the Intel strategy behind SDN, a network architecture that increases scalability and decreases the cost of equipment.

Healy’s leadership in intelligent systems for the communications industry is informed by 23 years of experience in engineering, network deployment, transmission planning, switching and maintenance.

Prior to his work in the communications group, Healy held positions in finance, information systems, network planning and sales management at Intel. He is an engineering graduate from the University of Limerick in Ireland.

Healy told he sees a major opportunity for Intel to set the standards for the next generation of networking hardware.

“It is interesting. If you define it, SDN is really the separation of the management control programming of the infrastructure. What SDN provides is the ability to do that remotely,” Healy explained.


“However, as a requirement underneath all of that, you need a consistent standard across the platform.

“Intel sees the opportunity to create that standard platform, the computing platform, and then enable the industry to move a lot of the network functions that exist within the infrastructure to run on that platform to create an environment where you can remotely manage all of those resources.”

With the latest advances in silicon and chip design, Healy said Intel is ready to help transform networking and enable it to embrace virtualisation.

“People often say the network is the last bastion, or the last standing mainframe, because most other aspects of computer processing have been virtualised for the bones of 10 years now and the ability to be programmatic and manage all that infrastructure and those programming resources has occurred except in the network.

“The network has been specifically based on hardware solutions or vertically integrated pieces of equipment and only recently have we had enough processing performance to run network functions at near alignment.

“The only way you can do that is if you move those functions and take advantage of virtualisation. We are at that breakthrough time with SDN and network functions virtualisation.”

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years