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Guru Parulkar
Executive Director at ONF


Guru Parulkar is Executive Director and Board Member of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), Executive Director of the Stanford Platform Lab at Stanford University and is ACM Fellow. Launched in 2011, ONF’s mission was to accelerate the development of software-defined networking (SDN) solutions through open standards development. In 2017, ONF merged with the Open Networking Lab (co-founded by Nick McKeown, Scott Shenker and Guru in 2011) with the mission to create open source SDN platforms and solutions for the industry. At ONF, Guru’s role is to lead ONF’s new combined mission to help network operators transform their networks into platforms for delivering innovative services with disaggregation/white boxes, open source and SDN/NFV/Cloudification. With a small and mighty team of 30 developers supported by a community of collaborating professionals, ONF’s ecosystem has grown to include 100+ companies representing various stakeholders from the networking industry.  

Over the years, ONF has developed a portfolio of open source platforms including Stratum (a thin switch OS for SDN), VOLTHA (enabling OLT white boxes with SDN), ONOS (a scalable SDN control plane), and XOS (a service orchestration and management platform) and multiple solutions like SEBA (SDN Enabled Broadband Access), OMEC (open source mobile packet core), COMAC (Converged Mobile and Wireline Access and Core), and CORD, an umbrella platform to transform a Central Office into a Datacenter.  As a testament to ONF’s accomplishments, several leading network operators are actively trialing and deploying ONF platforms and solutions.  

Guru joined Stanford in 2007 as Executive Director of its Clean Slate Internet Design Program and Consulting Professor of EE. At Stanford, Guru has helped create several programs including OpenFlow / Software-Defined Networking, Programmable Open Mobile Internet 2020, Stanford Experimental Data Center Laboratory and Platform Lab. Prior to Stanford, Guru spent four years at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and worked with the broader research community to create programs such as GENI, Future Internet Design, and Network of Sensor Systems. Guru received NSF Director's award for Program Management excellence. Before NSF, Guru founded several startups including Growth Networks (acquired by Cisco) and Sceos (IPO’d as Ruckus Wireless). Guru served as Entrepreneur in Residence at NEA in 2001 and received NEA's Entrepreneurship Award for Growth Networks.  

Guru's experience includes over 12 years at Washington University in St. Louis as Professor of Computer Science, Director of Applied Research Laboratory where he led research and prototyping of high performance networking and multimedia systems. Guru received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Delaware in 1987. Guru is a recipient of the Alumni Outstanding Achievement award and the Frank A. Pehrson Graduate Student Achievement award.

Agenda Sessions

  • Transforming the Operator Edge with Curated Open Networking