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ONUG Spring 2017 April 25 & 26 ONUG Fall 2017 October 17 & 18

Conference Speakers


Najam AhmadNajam Ahmad
Facebook – Director, Network Engineering

A director of engineering at Facebook, Najam Ahmad oversees all aspects of the development and operation of a global network infrastructure that serves more than a billion people around the world.

Prior to joining Facebook, Najam was the general manager of global networking services at Microsoft. In that role, he was responsible for the overall architecture, implementation, and operations of Microsoft’s global online network. Najam’s other experience includes management and engineering roles at MCI/UUNET and Netrix Corporation.

Najam holds an MS in telecommunication protocols and computer science from The George Washington University and a BE in Electrical Engineering from the NED University of Engineering and Technology.


Greg LavenderGreg Lavender
Citigroup – CTO for Citigroup Cloud Architecture and Infrastructure Engineering

Greg Lavender came to Citi from Cisco Systems, where he was the Corporate VP of Network Software Engineering. Greg led Cisco’s global engineering organization in several key efforts, including their platform independent networking protocol software and next generation virtualized embedding network OS.

Prior to Cisco, Greg spent 10 years at Sun Microsystems and then Oracle, serving as Senior Director of Software Engineering and then as Vice President of Engineering for Solaris. He was responsible for development of OpenSolaris and the Solaris 11 Operating System, including the Solaris Kernel, Networking, Infiniband, Virtualization, application runtime environment, as well as high performance computing technologies, cloud computing, and low latency high bandwidth data center networking and storage technology. He also served as CTO for the Network Identity, Messaging and Portal Software Division for the Sun Open Networking Environment.

Prior to Sun, Greg cofounded two successful Internet software venture, ISODE Inc, and Critical Angle, Inc. At ISODE and Critical Angle, Greg pioneered the X.500 and LDAP directory protocols and implemented high-end multiprocessor network servers using Internet and OSI protocols. As Chief Scientist, he commercialized early LDAPv3 directory servers, proxy servers, and SDKs. Critical Angle was acquired by Innosoft International, which in turn was acquired by Sun Microsystems.

Greg has an M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. He has also worked as a Networking Research Scientist and Computer Science Professor conducting advanced R&D on virtual machine architectures, network protocols, and distributed systems. He began his career in the early 1980s implementing TCP/IP and other early Internet protocols on IBM VM/CMS and MVS mainframes, BSD Unix minicomputers, Sun/DEC workstations, and specialized network processors.


Shamim AkhtarShamim Akhtar
Comcast – Senior Director, Network Strategy

Shamim Akhtar, Sr. Director, Network Strategy at Comcast is responsible for driving the network technology platform and architecture roadmap for Comcast’s truly converged national IP/Optical backbone, Metro, Edge and Access network.
His technology innovation & operations leadership, both inside and outside Comcast has brought tremendous momentum in the area of vendor agnostic network scaling to support Triple play residential, MEF based business services and Mobile backhaul services over one of the largest converged IP/Optical network in the world.

Shamim is a frequent speaker in packet optical converged core and access space. He is instrumental in aligning system level thought process in scaling speeds beyond 100G to 1Tbps in North America by collaborating with carriers, technology partners and research organizations.

Shamim has been involved in critical technology acquisition and investment decisions in IP/Optical industry with help of his experience and insight on the length and breadth of network technologies and their operational models across core, edge and access network.

Shamim is an IIT Graduate with working knowledge of MSO/Carrier network in North America, Europe and APAC through his current & prior experiences in Philips, VPISystems and Internet Photonics/Ciena.


Kevin ClarkeKevin Clarke
Verizon Terremark – Director of Cloud Platform Engineering 

Kevin Clarke is the Director of Clous Platform Engineering for Verizon Terremark, He is responsible for building the Verizon cloud platform that brings “Cloud without Compromise” computing to the Enterprise. Prior to joining Verizon, Kevin was the Director of System Engineering in the midrange storage division of EMC, where he ran System Architecture, Performance, and Security. Kevin spent 21 years working in Silicon Valley for Sun Microsystems in Cloud Computing, Solaris Operating Systems and Storage. He holds a BSCS and MBA from Northeastern University in Boston.


Ernest LefnerErnest Lefner
ONUG – Co-Founder and Vice Chairman

Bank of America – SVP Architecture and Engineering Executive

Ernest is responsible for building internal infrastructure at Bank of America to deliver greater flexibility and optimize the company’s data center enabling IT to better support the company’s business goals.

Ernest co-founded ONUG with Nick Lippis after realizing that the user community needed to take control of their own destiny and expedite the network transformation. At the time he was VP of the Internetwork Engineering organization at Fidelity Investments and under his leadership Fidelity hosted the first ONUG in Boston in February 2013.

A 12-year veteran of Fidelity, Ernest was responsible for leading the team that engineered world class network, security, and application delivery services driving value to the customer beyond infrastructure management. Ernest also managed the Network and Voice service portfolio as well as Global Network Operations LAN/WAN teams and has held various technical and leadership roles.


Rod Hall HeadshotRod Hall
JPMorgan Chase – Senior Analyst, Data Networking & Wireline Equipment/Telecom Equipment/Wireless

Rod Hall joined JPMorgan in September 2006 and covers Communications Equipment, Handset and Data Networking stocks. Rod was top 3 ranked by Institutional Investor for his coverage of communications equipment stocks in Europe. Before joining JPMorgan, he worked for eight years at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein as a Director on the #1 ranked Telecoms Equity Research team there. Rod began his career at AT&T, where he worked for 8 years in the US and Europe in both the business services and consumer services business units. Rod studied Electrical Engineering as an undergrad and got his MBA at INSEAD in France. He is interested in the economics of new technologies and speaks regularly on the subject at industry events.


Harmen van der Linde headshotHarmen Van der Linde
Citigroup – Senior Vice President, Strategy and Emerging Technologies Team

Harmen van der Linde is a Senior Vice President in Citigroup’s Strategy and Emerging Technologies team, focused on networking and storage. In this role, Harmen is driving the vendor interlock for emerging networking and storage technologies. One of his key focus areas is Software Defined Networking (SDN), which is being targeted as strategic building block for Citigroup’s new data center networking infrastructure.

In addition to working closely with Citigroup network and storage engineering, Harmen also serves as technical advisor to Citi Technology Investment Banking, Equity Research, and CitiVentures.

Prior to Citi Harmen worked a Cisco Systems for 7 years where was a senior manager, leading the product management team responsible for Cisco’s Service Provider software strategy and technology roadmap. Together with his team, he covered a wide range of technologies supporting carrier network transport and services supported by the various software product lines offered by Cisco.

Prior to Cisco, Harmen worked at AT&T for 6 years where he was a district manager leading the team responsible for network management and operations planning for AT&T’s global business services network infrastructure. Before joining AT&T, Harmen worked at Bellcore for 4 years where he was a consultant focusing on network and operations management.

Harmen has an MBA in Economics and Finance from Stern NYU and an M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Twente University in the Netherlands. He is currently based in New York City.


Brian MarshallBrian Marshall
ISI Group – Partner & Senior Managing Director

Brian Marshall heads ISI’s Technology Team and is ISI’s IT Hardware and Data Networking Analyst. Brian spent the last 15 years conducting fundamental research on the technology sector from both a buy-side and sell-side perspective. In 2010, StarMine recognized Brian as a top 5 overall earnings estimator out of 1,800+ publishing analysts. Prior to joining ISI in 2011, Brian spent 3 years as a sell-side analyst at Gleacher covering IT Hardware and Data Networking sectors. Prior to joining Gleacher, Brian started a global technology longshort fund and partnered with Jefferies. Before that, he was employed at DE Shaw and oversaw the firm’s effort in the long/short technology sector while managing a substantial fund and team of investments professionals. Brian also spent time at Citadel, JPMorgan and H&Q.


Jayson NolanJayson Noland
Robert W. Baird & Co. – CFA, Senior Research Analyst, IT Systems & Networking

Jayson Noland is Baird’s senior analyst covering IT Systems and Networking. Prior to joining Baird in 2005, he worked for technology firms in the Silicon Valley in engineering and business development roles. In both 2008 and 2009, he was included in The Wall Street Journal’s “Best on the Street” analyst rankings – Computers and Office Equipment. In 2009, he was designated as an Institutional Investor “Best Up and Comer” – IT Hardware. Jayson received a BS in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago.


Keith ShinnKeith Shinn
Fidelity Investments – Senior Vice President, Wholesale IT, Fidelity Technology Group

Keith Shinn is Senior Vice President, Wholesale IT of Fidelity Technology Group (FTG), a division of Fidelity Investments, the largest mutual fund company in the United States, the No. 1 provider of workplace retirement savings plans and a leading online brokerage firm. Mr. Shinn joined Fidelity in Nov 1987 and is currently responsible for Wholesale IT Architecture and Strategic Services which responsibilities includes IT Strategy Network, Server, Storage, Middleware, Database, Cloud, Big Data, and development of  “Click2Compute” the Cloud services offering for Fidelity IT departments.

Mr. Shinn has over 25 years of experience in the IT and has held leadership roles at First Data Corporation, Neiman Marcus and RepublicBank. He began his technology career in 1981 with RepublicBank.


Michael PayneMichael Payne
JPMorgan Chase – Executive Director and Engineer Lead

Michael Payne leads the Network Strategy team for the Global Network Services organization at JPMorgan Chase. In this role, he evaluates emerging technologies and companies in the software defined networking, network virtualization, data center and cloud networking and unified communication areas. He works closely with teams in the Investment Bank and Chief Information Office in driving the innovation agenda within JPMorgan Chase.

Prior to JPMorgan Chase, Mr. Payne joined Cisco Systems in 2000 to develop financial services solutions for the Asia Pacific region. He transitioned to the U.S. market in early 2003 and assumed global responsibility in 2004 as the Financial Services Segment Executive for global industry solutions in Worldwide Enterprise Marketing.

Before joining Cisco, he was a manager in Andersen Consulting’s Internet and Media Technologies practice. During his five years with Andersen Consulting (now known as Accenture), Mr. Payne developed and implemented several Internet and e-commerce systems for large global financial institutions in Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia.

He has a bachelor’s degree in business majoring in marketing from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. Mr. Payne is based in California, United States.


Brent SalisburyBrent Salisbury
University of Kentucky – Network Architect

Brent Salisbury works as a Network Architect at the University of Kentucky with over 15 years of networking experience in large enterprise, healthcare and regional provider networks. Brent is a 10 CCIE Emeritus that has written extensively on his site regarding topics such as SDN, programming and data center orchestration. He co-authored the first industry book on SDN The OpenFlow Book and contributes to various open source SDN community projects. He also blogs at and contributes at


Natarajan Subu SubrahmanyanNatarajan ‘Subu’ Subrahmanyan
The Juda Group – Senior Managing Director

Natarajan ‘Subu’ Subrahmanyan, CFA is a Senior Managing Director and lead research analyst for communications equipment companies at The Juda Group, a division of Concept Capital Markets. Mr. Subrahmanyan’s research focuses on leading data and optical networking companies. He has been featured on the Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Street Analyst List, and was named the best up-and-comer in telecom equipment in the Institutional Investor polls.

Mr. Subrahmanyan joined The Juda Group in January 2003 prior to which he was lead research analyst for data and optical networking companies at Goldman Sachs.

Mr. Subrahmanyan holds an MBA from the Owen School at Vanderbilt University and a B.S in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Anna University in Madras, India.


Jim KyriannisJim Kyriannis
NYU Department of Communications and Computing IT Services – Program Director for Technology Architecture

Jim Kyriannis has been working in the IT industry for over two decades, having served on several boards and working groups across a broad range of technologies. He has a strong background in numerous IT fields including enterprise networking, global WAN, data center, servers, and large-scale application architectures. As Program Director for Technology Architecture in New York University’s department of Communications and Computing Information Technology Services, his group is currently leading SDN/OpenFlow initiatives, which support research and IT efforts and strategy.


Scott Bradner Scott Bradner
Harvard University – Senior Technical Consultant, Harvard University Information Technology

Scott Bradner has been involved in the design, operation and use of data networks at Harvard University since the early days of the ARPANET. He was involved in the design of the original Harvard data networks, the Longwood Medical Area network (LMAnet) and New England Academic and Research Network (NEARnet). He was founding chair of the technical committees of LMAnet, NEARnet and the Corporation for Research and Enterprise Network (CoREN).

Mr. Bradner served in a number of roles in the IETF.  He was the co-director of the Operational Requirements Area (1993-1997), IPng Area (1993-1996), Transport Area (1997-2003) and Sub-IP Area (2001-2003). He was a member of the IESG (1993-2003) and was an elected trustee of the Internet Society (1993-1999), where he currently serves as the Secretary to the Board of Trustees.  Scott is also a member of the IETF Administrative Support Activity (IASA) as well as a trustee of the IETF Trust.

Mr. Bradner is a Senior Technical Consultant in the Office of the Harvard University CTO. His job includes work in the area of identity management as well as exploring, developing and upgrading technology at Harvard, monitoring changing technology trends and exploring their potential for use at Harvard. He founded the Harvard Network Device Test Lab, is a frequent speaker at technical conferences, a weekly columnist for Network World, and does a bit of independent consulting on the side.


Srini SeetharamanSrini Seetharaman
Deutsche Telekom – Technical Lead for Software-defined Networking

Srini Seetharaman is the Technical Lead for Software-defined Networking (SDN) at Deutsche Telekom Innovation Center. Previously he was a member of the OpenFlow/SDN team at Stanford, between 2008-2011, where he lead the SDN deployments in several nation-wide campus enterprise networks, including Stanford. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology.


Steve WallaceSteve Wallace
Indiana University – Executive Director, The Indiana Center for Translational Research and Education

Wallace has been with InCNTRE since its formation, acting as associate director for education and international collaboration initiatives. An early and ardent proponent of software-defined networking, he has led workshops around the world on the technology and the research it enables.

He has more than 25 years of experience in network design, research, and deployment — including 10 years leading IU’s engineering support for Abilene (Internet2’s first high-speed backbone) and directing the university’s Advanced Network Management Lab.


Nick LippisNick Lippis
ONUG – Co-Founder and Vice Chairman

Lippis Enterprises – Independent Industry Analyst

Nick Lippis is an authority on corporate computer networking. He has designed some for the largest computer networks in the world. He has advised many Global 2000 firms on network strategy, architecture, equipment, services and implementation including Hughes Aerospace, Barclays Bank, Kaiser Permanente, Eastman Kodak Company, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Liberty Mutual, Schering-Plough, Sprint, WorldCom, Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks and a wide range of other equipment suppliers and service providers.

Mr. Lippis is uniquely positioned to comment, analyze and observe computer networking industry trends and developments. At Lippis Enterprises, Inc., Nick works with entrepreneurs evaluating new business opportunities in enterprise networking and serves as an independent investor and adviser.


Jennifer RexfordJennifer Rexford
Princeton University – Gordon Y.S. Wu Professor of Engineering, Computer Science department

Jennifer Rexford is the Gordon Y.S. Wu Professor of Engineering in the Computer Science department at Princeton University. Before joining Princeton in 2005, she was a member of technical staff at AT&T Labs–Research, where she was an early designer of the Routing Control Platform (RCP)—a Software Defined Networking solution deployed in AT&T’s backbone network—and the 4D architecture that popularized logically-centralized control of computer networks.  Her current research includes the Frenetic project (a collaboration between Princeton and Cornell) on raising the level of abstraction for programming SDNs.  Jennifer received her PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan in 1996, and her BSE in Electrical Engineer at Princeton University in 1991.  She was the 2004 winner of ACM’s Grace Murray Hopper Award for outstanding young computer professional, and was listed on MIT Technology Review’s 2004 TR-100 list of the top 100 innovators under the age of 35.  Jennifer is co-author of the book Web Protocols and Practice: HTTP/1.1, Networking Protocols, Caching, and Traffic Measurement (Addison-Wesley, May 2001).


Mari ClappMari Mineta Clapp
ONUG Managing Director

Mari has over 20 years of experience in high tech developing new markets, creating powerful brands and highly differentiated marketing platforms. She works closely with the IT community to drive thought leadership and network transformation as large corporations take greater control of their network infrastructure and deploy open networking solutions. Mari has an extensive network of strategic relationships enabling her to make a strong marketing and business development impact.


Paul Silverstein
Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst at Cowen And Company

Paul Silverstein is a Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst at Cowen And Company covering data networking and wireline equipment. Prior to joining Cowen in January 2013, Mr. Silverstein was a senior analyst in Credit Suisse’s equity research department, covering the communications infrastructure industry. Prior to that, he was a senior analyst in equity research at Robertson Stephens and at Needham & Co. Prior to becoming a securities analyst, Mr. Silverstein practiced corporate and securities law as an associate at Weil Gotshal & Manges and at Pryor Cashman Sherman & Flynn. He holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, a J.D. from Cornell Law School, and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. Institutional Investor, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine and Thomson Reuters StarMine have ranked Mr. Silverstein as one of the top U.S. networking and communication equipment analysts.



Karl MayKarl May
Vello Systems – Co-Founder, Executive Chairman, CEO, and President

Karl May has over 20 years of experience as a high technology entrepreneur and executive. He was previously with OpVista and prior to that CHIPS and Systems, developer of programmable secure media processors for high definition televisions and set-top boxes. Previously, he served as Chairman of AP Engines, The Industree (BarcoNet), and President and CEO of Convergent Networks. He served as President of Nortel’s Broadband Access Networks Division, and previously was Bay Network’s VP/GM of its Broadband Technology Division, where his team developed the market leading cable modem system. He also served in executive and engineering management positions at SGI and HP.


Lane PattersonLane Patterson
Equinix – Chief Network Architect

After serving in many roles in telecom and Internet companies, Lane Patterson joined Equinix in 2000 and is currently our Chief Network Architect. Prior to joining Equinix, Mr. Patterson was Director of IP Network Management Systems for Global Crossing, Inc. where he supported a global IP backbone and first generation content distribution centers. At Metropolitan Fiber Systems, he lead operations of mid-Atlantic Frame Relay, ATM, and related data networking services, as well as the MAE-East Internet exchange point during the first wave of commercial ISP growth. Mr. Patterson has a deep background in the technologies related to telecommunications, Internet routing, and data center computing infrastructure.

Mr. Patterson received a B.A. in Physics from Cornell University and an M.S. in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University.


Jeff GreyJeff Gray
Glue Networks – Chief Executive Officer

Jeff Gray is a thought leader in the field of Next-Gen Cloud Based Networking. His mission is to help customers do more with less while positively touching the lives of others around him. Jeff has helped numerous companies develop and execute their strategic vision. Jeff has worked closely with Cisco Systems, VMware, HP, and Panduit on next-generation data center and cloud computing initiatives. Jeff was the former VP Business Development of Yelofin Networks, a hybrid Virtual Network Operator where he was responsible for US operations. A former executive of networking and telecom spin-offs of Cisco Systems and E.ON Energie, he also worked on strategic network initiatives of power utilities throughout the US and Europe developing network and smart grid strategies and architectures. Jeff developed Deutsche Bank’s global e-Commerce strategy for the transaction bank and helped design and build several Deutsche Bank funded technology companies. Jeff has lived and worked in California, New York, Germany, Sweden, Norway, the UK, and holds a BA from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Jeff currently serves on the Board of Leaders of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership of John F. Kennedy University.  Jeff enjoys ski racing Far West Masters on weekends, surfing, golf, weight lifting, running, and backpacking.


Shehzad MerchantShehzad Merchant
Gigamon – Chief Strategy Officer

Shehzad Merchant serves as Gigamon’s Chief Strategy Officer bringing over 20 years of experience in the high-tech industry. Prior to joining Gigamon, Merchant served as the CTO at Extreme Networks, and is the author of several networking and communications patents. He is a frequent speaker at various industry events including Interop and Open Networking Summit, and has been engaged with many standards bodies including the IEEE, IETF and ONF. Prior to Extreme Networks, he was the co-founder and VP of Products at Polytime Systems, following on from various senior architectural and research roles at Allied Telesyn, Nevis Networks and SRI. He holds a Masters Degree in Computer Engineering from USC and an Electronic Engineering degree from the University of Mumbai.


Randal EchterlingRandal Echterling
WellSpan Health – Network Architect

Randy has spent the last 8 years working as a Network Architect for WellSpan Health for which his is responsible for design and development of the network infrastructure. This infrastructure is designed more like a carrier-grade network, rather than a normal enterprise. This was done to provide medical services throughout the Health System.

Prior to working at WellSpan Health (and before having two beautiful girls), Randy worked as a Consulting Engineer with an Information Systems integrator.

Randy has 25 year’s experience in the industry, which includes transport networks (i.e. SONET, DWDM, CWDM, etc.) along with LAN/WAN topologies (i.e. Switched infrastructure, Wireless, MPLS, E-LINE, E-LAN, E-TREE services, etc.).