During the plenary session at the Open Networking Summit, Urs Hoeizle,
Google Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure & Google Fellow,
described Google’s 100 percent transition to OpenFlow for their
inter-data center network. Google maintains two networks, one through
which users access Google services such as search and Google Apps, and
one dedicated to transferring data among their data centers. The
inter-data center network is under Google’s control end-to-end, making
it the first choice for transitioning to a new technology.

Dr. Hoeizle laid out Google’s case for the transition to OpenFlow (e.g.,
better control, and greater efficiency), but Google’s purpose for such a
detailed disclosure became more clear during the question and answer
session. Google’s presentation included a rare photo of a google-built
Ethernet switch. For years many have speculated that Google was building
its own network equipment. Displaying a photograph of a google-built
switch was all the bait the audience needed. Shortly into the Q & A
session, the focus shifted to Google’s switch. With the hook set and
center stage the audience of 900 attendees, Dr. Hoeizle signaled that
the market was expecting high-density OpenFlow equipped switches. Google
only built these switches because they couldn’t buy them. They plan to
buy switches, rather than build their own, the next time around.