“Town Hall” Session at OFA Workshop 2017 to Help Chart the Future of the Alliance

/ / Workshops

The personality of any well-designed organization naturally morphs over time. There are lots of reasons for this; in the case of the OpenFabrics Alliance (OFA) some of the key ones might be:

  • Growing adoption of RDMA by the computing community and what that means to the OFA
  • New or emerging fabrics
  • Galloping advances in technology
  • New usage models for computing systems

Recognizing that change is the status quo, the OFA Board has undertaken a review of our mission with an eye toward answering two deceptively simple questions: What should the Alliance look like and how should it behave in the years to come? What more can we do as an Alliance to add more value to the community of network developers and consumers?

Answering these questions requires a real dialog with Alliance members and with the broader networking community. To open that dialog, we’ve set aside some time at the upcoming Workshop for a Town Hall discussion. We’ll start by framing the question during Susan Coulter’s ‘State of the Alliance’ talk on Tuesday and continue it at the Town Hall discussion on Thursday.

Now comes the request; it is for you to do a bit of homework before the Workshop. The success of the Town Hall depends on a lively dialog, but that won’t happen unless we all spend a little time beforehand reflecting on the topic.  You can begin by asking yourself a few leading questions such as, “Strategically, why is the OFA important to my organization?” Or, “What value does my organization get from the Alliance?” Or even more importantly, “What value are we not receiving today?”

Obviously, in addressing these questions, no organization should reveal its strategic secrets. But with a moment’s reflection, and keeping in mind the goal of building a better, stronger Alliance, I’ll bet there are ways to share your insights, and even more importantly, your vision for the OpenFabrics Alliance going into the future. The key word here is ‘Alliance’.

Since not everybody has a clear view of the Alliance today, we’ll start on Tuesday with a kind of a framework to describe the OFA of today. Hopefully this will serve as a jumping off point to a lively conversation about the OFA of tomorrow.

I hope you’re planning to attend the workshop. If you do, please come prepared to be an active participant in shaping the OFA’s future so it continues to meet the needs of the networking community. If you can’t make it to the workshop, please reach out to either me, or our Chair, Susan Coulter, to express your views directly. There’s always room for more ideas.

Kind regards,

Paul Grun

OpenFabrics Alliance Vice Chair