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SDN Idol

SDN Idol 2016

Wednesday, March 16 | 2pm to 3.30pm

SDN Idol is a demo-ware contest for SDN and NFV vendors to pitch their latest and greatest products/solutions. An esteemed panel of judges reviewed the proposals and live demos to rank and pick 4 finalists.

The finalists will present live demos at the SDN Idol Demo Track.

ONS2016 attendees will vote to crown the SDN Idol 2016 winner!

Award Presentation will be held just before breaking for lunch in keynote room on Thursday March 17.


The Four Finalists for the SDN Idol Demo Track are:


SDDC Virtualization: Connecting Physical and Virtualized Workloads in Hardware


SDN Enabled vEPC with Distributed User Plane for Mobile Edge Computing


ONOS-Based Transport SDN Super Controller


PLUMgrid Open Networking Suite for OpenStack


We are thankful to the Judges for volunteering their time and all the companies for taking the time to participate to make SDN Idol a great success!


  • Jim Smith,   General Partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures
  • Patricia Chang, Senior Manager – SDN-NFV Architecture Planning, Verizon
  • Paul Parker-Johnson,   Principal Analyst, ACG Research
  • Prajakta Joshi,   Product Manager, Google
  • Roz Roseboro,   Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
The SDN Idol submissions will be judged on the following criteria:

Business value

      • What business problems does the product solve?
      • How significant is the problem?
      • Does the product solve the problem in a unique way?
      • Is the product good from a TCO standpoint versus alternative means to solve the problem?

Technology value

      • Is there strong technical foundation?
      • Is there innovation in the product?
      • Is the architecture and solution sound?
      • Is the scope of technology impact significant?

Differentiation against competition

      • Is there true novelty in the approach?
      • Are there many competitors in the space already with similar approaches?
      • Are the value propositions and features highly differentiated?

Advancement of overall SDN / NFV

    • Does the product push the envelope of SDN / NFV?
    • Does the existence of the product or technologies embedded in the product advance the SDN / NFV space?
    • Does it highlight the strength of an SDN / NFV approach versus traditional networking?


      • Does the submitted proposal communicate the value of the product clearly?
      • Is the product well described?
      • Are the key value propositions easy to grasp?
      • Does the demonstration highlight the use-case or application?


      • Proposal must present a SDN / NFV Product / Application / Solution that is in alpha level or further in its release cycle.
      • Products / application / solutions built on open source components are encouraged
      • A maximum of 2 submissions per company will be accepted.
      • Each participating organization must be a sponsor / exhibitor at ONS2016 and the product must be demonstrated at ONS2016.
      • Product/application must be presented in live demo environment during the Demo Track. No recordings will be accepted.
      • Finalists need to submit a draft press release of the product by March 8th for use in SDN Idol Winner press release and announcement.


      • Feb 1 - CFP Submission deadline.
      • Feb 8 - Announcement: Eight proposals shortlist for next round - live demo to judges.
      • Feb 17-19 - Shortlisted participants to present an online stage-ready demo for judges.
      • Feb 24-25 - Demo re-runs if needed
      • Mar 2 - Announcement: Finalists for SDN Idol Demo Track @ONS2016
      • Mar 16 - Four Finalists to present 20 minute demos at SDN Idol Demo Track @ONS2016
      • Mar 17 - Award presentation at 11:45am after keynote session, before breaking for lunch
      • Mar 18 - Press release and email announcement of SDN Idol 2016 Winner

How do we apply for SDN Idol 2016?

Please email a 500-word proposal, in PDF format, describing description the product’s:

      • Business value
      • Technology value
      • Differentiation against competition
      • Why it advances start-of-the-art of SDN / NFV

Supporting materials like diagrams, whitepaper, etc. can be provided in addition to the primary proposal, also in PDF format. Use the following file naming convention:

  • Primary proposal: SI16-COMPANY_NAME-ENTRY_NAME-PROPOSAL.pdf
  • Supporting materials: SI16-COMPANY_NAME-ENTRY_NAME-SM-NN.pdf (NN = 1, 2, 3 ...)

Shortlisted applicants will be required to present a live demo of the product/application to the Judges to be considered for selection as a Finalist at the Demo Track. Please refer to the schedule under ‘Guidelines’ tab.

How are the shortlisted eight chosen?

The Judges will rank all demo proposals/entries per the judging criteria mentioned above and the top eight entries will be shortlisted to present online demos to Judges.

How are the finalists chosen?

The Judges will rank the demos from shortlisted eight entries and the top five will be selected as Finalists to present at the Demo Track.

What does the final demo at SDN Idol entail?

• The demos should be no longer than 20 minutes. • The demo should clearly show how the product/solution works.

How will the voting take place?

Voting is only open to conference attendees and the process will be shared with the attendees at the conference.

When will the winner be announced?

The winner will be announced and presented the award at 11.45am on Thursday, March 17th, after the keynote session just before breaking for lunch.

How will the winner be promoted?

ONS will

  • Issue a press release announcing the winner.
  • List the winner on its website.
  • Announce the winner via email to its mailing list.

Winners can use the SDN Idol moniker for their award winning product on their website and in their product materials.

As a finalist, will we be able to do a rehearsal before the demo track?

Rehearsals are required the day of SDN Idol Demo Track. ONS will schedule 30 minute dry run with each finalist on Wednesday March 16th before the demo track. Details to be confirmed.

What if a demo needs special setup to be presented?

Please email with any special requests or considerations.


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