Distinguished Lecture Series

Prof. Dr. Holger Karl

Paderborn University

9 November 2017, 04:15 pm

S2|02 Room C110, Robert-Piloty-Gebäude, Hochschulstr. 10, 64289 Darmstadt

“Rethinking applications: SDN&NFV meet IT services ”


Network softwarization – in its incarnation as Software-Defined Networking and Network Function Virtualization – has so far focused on putting software into networks, mostly for the purpose of running the network. It has, as an academic effort, largely ignored developments in the broader IT industry where the fine-grained distribution of slim, easy-to-use containers becomes a standard technique and where the micro-services architecture model fosters the creation of chains of individual functions even on an application level.

This talk will argue that we currently have a unique opportunity to reconsider our perspective on what constitutes an application: the application code proper, with custom-tailed network support functionality, along with orchestration code that shepherds both application and network functions along over the lifecycle of an application. Such an integrated picture of applications should give raise to new deployment and operation models, if only we overcome the artificial segregation between IT and networking. This has repercussions and challenges spanning from software engineering to network engineering, from concrete implementation questions to deriving optimization models out of formally described input specifications.

The talk will draw on material from the 5G PPP SONATA project and the Center of Excellence On-the-fly computing.


Holger Karl completed his PhD on parallel computing in 1999 and the swiftly moved into network as a PostDoc at Technical University Berlin. Thence, he joined Paderborn University in 2004 as a full professor for computer networks, where he still works. His research interests include wireless networking (from cellular over industrial wireless control to sensor networks), data center networking and current networking architecture (e.g., SDN and NFV).