Going With the Flow: Google’s Secret Switch to the Next Wave of Networking

The Open Networking Summit in Santa Clara, California, will witness Urs Hölzle - Google's czar of infrastructure - publicly talking about Google's infrastructure --- a topic which is treated as somewhat of a state secret by the Internet search giant.

Hölzle - who left his job as an associate computer science professor at UC Santa Barbara to join Google in early 1999 - is apparently the best person to address the conference about the Google infrastructure because he had virtually overseen the growth of the company's network operations from a few cages in a San Jose co-location center to a colossal Internet authority.

Giving the audience at the Summit a rare briefing about how Google fundamentally remade the main part of its gigantic internal network, thus garnering savings as well as efficiency, Hölzle will draw attention to Google's slapdash espousal of a new and all-encompassing open-source technology - OpenFlow - jointly devised by scientists at Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley.

Revealing that OpenFlow moves the control functions to servers and boosts complexity, efficiency and flexibility, Hölzle said that when Google learnt about OpenFlow, "it was clear that this was the way to go."

With OpenFlow being Google's secret switch to the next wave of networking, Hölzle will also confirm - for the first time - during the course of his presentation at the Summit that that Google has not only been making its own servers, but has also been designing as well as manufacturing a large chunk of its own networking equipment!