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The 3rd Network Open Source Technology Ecological Summit was successfully held on June 10, 2023, in Beijing. The Summit featured a main forum in the morning and two sub-forums in the afternoon, with the SONiC forum being one of the afternoon sessions. With support from the Linux Foundation, Alibaba helped in organizing the SONiC forum. The Summit attracted over 400 in-person attendees and more than 2,000 virtual attendees. The recording of the Summit has been viewed over 80,000 times.

Eddie delivers a Keynote on Network Operating System and SONiC

During the main forum, Eddie Ruan from Alibaba Cloud delivered a keynote, introducing the development history, software architecture, and the SONiC open source community. Initially designed as a network operating system for data center Top-of-rack (ToR) switches, SONiC has evolved into a versatile network operating system capable of supporting various network devices. Eddie also highlighted the accomplishments of the four active working groups (DASH, Chassis, OTN, Routing) within SONiC, along with Alibaba Cloud’s exploration and implementation of SONiC.

The SONiC Forum, one of the sub-forums at the Summit, witnessed an impressive surge in participation, surpassing the organizers’ expectations and highlighting the substantial interest and attraction that SONiC is generating. With a wide range of intriguing topics covered, the attendees were eager to learn about the latest developments in SONiC.

Several luminary speakers and active SONiC community members have presented at the event. Including:

  • Lihua Yuan, SONiC Technical Committee Chair and VP of Engineering, Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft, kicked off the forum and presented “SONiC DASH: Towards Limitless and Ubiquitous SDN”.
  • Shang Shuai from Alibaba and Jason Bos from Cisco discussed the use case for SRv6 VPN and the support of SRv6 VPN SAI.
  • Tingting Liu from Broadcom, the female speaker in the forum discussed efforts to scale up to 1 million routes in SONiC.
  • Zhenqian Tang from Tencent provided a detailed explanation of Tencent’s AI infrastructure.
  • Cai Feng of Cloudnix discussed SONiC’s support from the perspective of a chip vendor.
  • Hua Li and Kang Jiang of Alibaba discussed DASH, smart switches, and SONiC Chassis approach.
  • Bojian Wang of AMD introduced their DPUs and their contributions to SONiC DASH.
  • Finally, Jun Shi and Bo Geng concluded the forum by introducing their SONiC use cases and sharing their expectations of SONiC from the perspective of ODM vendors.

The complete SONiC forum recording in Mandarin could be found here.

The SONIC forum has played a crucial role in establishing a communication platform that brings together members of the SONiC community in China. Through knowledge exchange, experience sharing, and collaboration, users have gained a deeper understanding of the technology’s potential and capabilities. One noteworthy aspect of the forum is its ability to attract new users through initiatives like Alibaba’s Summer of Code program. This program provides young graduate students with hands-on experience working on SONiC-related projects alongside experienced community veterans. As a result, the program has proven to be a valuable way to recruit new talent to the community.

SDNLAB has expressed their desire to make the SONiC forum an annual event in China, given the overwhelmingly positive response from the community.. Consequently, they have approached Alibaba for assistance in making this a reality. By doing so, the community can continue to build upon the progress achieved thus far and provide more opportunities for user participation. By bringing together a diverse group of individuals with different backgrounds and perspectives, the forum has the potential to drive innovation and further advance the development of SONiC technology, not only in China but also worldwide.