IEEE Conference on Network Function Virtualization and Software Defined Networks
12-14 November 2019 // Dallas, Texas, USA

Keynotes Speakers

Keynote talk #1

Title: AT&T’s Winning Network Combination: DevOps, SDN and NFV

Speaker: David Lu

Organization: AT&T Labs


David Lu, Vice President, SDN Platform & Systems, is responsible for development and engineering of AT&T’s next generation SDN (Software Defined Network) platform enabling AT&T network virtualization and OSS/operation process transformation which includes ECOMP platform and open source ECOMP (ONAP), API, micro-services, policy control & orchestration, hyper-automation, and advanced data analytics. David leads a multifaceted organization with more than 3,000 people across the globe.

David is a well-respected leader across multiple technology domains including: large scale, real time software architecture and development, network performance and traffic management, work flow and policy- controlled automation, large database and big data implementation (mining & analytics), machine learning, artificial intelligence, software reliability and quality, and network operations process engineering. David has led major software platform transformation initiatives from sales to network/service delivery/assurance, and billing platforms. Examples of his David’s achievements include large scale platforms he has both led and engineered that process annually: 984 Trillion network performance events and 348 Billion alarms with 99.99%+ automation; 60 Million dispatches with 14.4 Billion automated manual steps; and over 90 Billion API transactions.

Since joining AT&T Bell Labs in 1987, David has served in various leadership positions at AT&T. Over the past 15 years, David has led numerous automation initiatives that have resulted in multi-billion- dollar savings and in 2010 he received the CIO 100 Award for his efforts. David holds 45 patents and has frequently appeared as a guest speaker at technical and leadership seminars and conferences throughout the world. David has received numerous industry awards including the 2015 Chairman’s Award from the IEEE Communication Society for Network and Systems Quality and Reliability; and the 2017 CIE AAEOY (Asian America Engineer of Year) Award. David is tremendously active in community organizations and activities including AT&T APCA, DFW-CIE, the DFW Asian American Chamber of Commerce, and was recognized by AT&T APCA in 2015 with the Corporate Leadership Award.

David was accepted to the world-renowned Shanghai Conservatory of Music and came to the U.S. to complete his college education; an undergraduate degree in Music (majoring in cello performance), and a graduate degree in Computer Science.


Network traffic is growing exponentially, driven by the insatiable hunger for data consumption and the introduction of new technologies like AR/VR, IoT and 5G. Supporting this growth necessitates a transition from a hardware centric to a software centric network that addresses tremendous architecture challenges of greater complexity, faster speeds and enhanced reliability.  AT&T will share how it is leveraging SDN, NFV and a DevOps approach to build a highly scalable and agile transformative network delivering world class results.

Keynote talk #2

Title: Network Verification: Past, Present, and Future

Speaker: Nate Foster

Organization: Cornell University & Barefoot Networks


Nate Foster is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University and a Principal Research Engineer at Barefoot Networks. The goal of his research is to develop tools that make it easy for programmers to build secure and reliable systems. His current work focuses on the design and implementation of languages for programming software-defined networks. He received a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania, an MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge University, and a BA in Computer Science from Williams College. His honors include a Sloan Research Fellowship, an NSF CAREER Award, the ACM SIGCOMM Rising Star Award, and several best paper and teaching awards.


Networks today achieve robustness not by adhering to precise formal specifications but by building implementations that tolerate modest deviations from correct behavior. This philosophy can be seen in the slogan used by the Internet Engineering Task Force, “we believe in rough consensus and running code,” and by Jon Postel’s famous dictum to “be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others.” But as networks have grown in scale and complexity, the frequency of faults has led to new interest in techniques for formally verifying network behavior. This talk will discuss recent progress on practical tools for specifying and verifying formal properties of networks. In the first part of the talk, I will present p4v, a tool for verifying the low-level code that executes on individual devices such as routers and firewalls. In the second part of the talk, I will present NetKAT, a formal system for specifying and verifying network-wide behavior. In the third part of the talk, I will highlight some challenges and opportunities for future research in network verification.



Keynote talk #3

Title: Is Optics Catching up with SDN?

Speaker: Andrea Fumagalli

Organization: The University of Texas at Dallas


Andrea Fumagalli is a Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Texas at Dallas. He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Politecnico di Torino. From 1992 to 1998 he was an Assistant Professor at the Electronics Engineering Department of Politecnico di Torino. He served as Program Head of the Telecommunications Engineering program at UT-Dallas from 2007 to 2012.

Dr. Fumagalli’s research interests include aspects of mobile and optical networks, related protocol design and performance evaluation. He has published more than two hundred papers in refereed journals and conferences. Dr. Fumagalli has made multiple earlier contributions to the area of high speed and optical network architectures, including protocol design, performance evaluation, and packet switching. He has been involved in a number of research projects focusing on packet switched optical networks sponsored by NSF and ARPA, and collaborated with leading network equipment suppliers and operators.



Optical technologies can provide the transmission capacity needed to support new applications that are increasingly becoming bandwidth greedy. If properly leveraged these technologies can provide more than just a static point-to-point high data rate transmission link between switches or routers. Reconfigurable Optical Add Drop Multiplexers or ROADMs can be deployed to offer applications the ability to dynamically configure and take full advantage of the available optical network transmission resources. This talk will describe three Software Defined Networking (SDN) solutions applied to ROADM-based optical networks and show how they are experimentally tested at and around the University of Texas at Dallas campus.


Keynote talk #4

Title: Network Function Virtualization Modeling and Service Function Chaining

Speaker: Ying Zhang

Organization: Facebook


Ying Zhang is Software Engineering Manager in Facebook. She works on large scale network management problems and her research interests are in Software-Defined Networks, Network Function Virtualization, network monitoring, Internet routing, and network security. She has 30+ granted US/International patents, 50 peer-reviewed publications with about 1500 citations, and she was named by Swedish media as Mobile Network 10 Brightest Researcher. She was awarded as a Rising Star in the Networking and Communications area.


The ability to deploy Service Function Chains (SFC) efficiently and correctly is important in Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) infrastructures. This talk discusses the challenges and proposed solutions for scalable instantiation and verification of SFCs, from modeling to its application in verification.