ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award
USA - 2012
For his work creating the movement of Software Defined Networking (SDN), a new paradigm in the research and practice of computer networking that provides a software alternative to hardware-based network components.
Effective network management requires the ability to easily modify the configuration of network components, such as IP routers, Ethernet switches, and load balancers. Innovation in networking requires that the research community have the ability to design and deploy new features autonomously and independently of vendors. The need for these capabilities has long been experienced with hardware-based network components. In addition, cloud computing has virtualized computing and storage, but had a requirement for virtualized networking to replace the physical network. Casado's outstanding contribution has been to provide a solution: a new, software-based alternative to hardware-based network components. This alternative consists of an approach that encompasses an open interface API (OpenFlow), and open-source software components, such as the OpenVswitch switch, and the NOX and ONIX SDN controllers. These innovations have been readily and widely adopted by industry in a relatively short period of time. These innovations have also spawned a large and growing SDN research community that promises to utterly change the field.