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OpenDaylight Developer Spotlight: Pradeeban Kathiravelu

The OpenDaylight community is comprised of leading technologists from around the globe who are working together to transform networking with open source. This blog series highlights the developers, users and researchers collaborating within OpenDaylight to build an open, common platform for SDN and NFV.

About Pradeeban Kathiravelu

Pradeeban Kathiravelu is an Open Source Evangelist. He is a PhD Researcher at INESC-ID Lisboa/Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal. He holds a Master of Science degree (Erasmus Mundus European Master in Distributed Computing, a double degree master program) from Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal, and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. He also holds a Bachelor of the Science of Engineering (Hons) degree, majoring Computer Science & Engineering, with a first class from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. He is highly interested in FOSS development, and is an active participant of the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) program since 2009. His research interests include Software-Defined Networking, Distributed Computing, Cloud Computing, and Data mining.

What projects in OpenDaylight are you working on? Any new developments to share?

I am working on the Messaging4Transport project, which is a project in the Beryllium release aiming to provide messaging oriented protocol northbounds to the Model-Driven Service Abstraction Layer (MD-SAL) of OpenDaylight. Ed Warnicke from OpenDaylight has helped me start with my development work as my mentor. On the other hand, I am a full time PhD student researching on Software-Defined Networking. I use OpenDaylight for my research work. I have done many prototype works based on OpenDaylight. I am also the creator and coordinator of the OpenDaylight Lisboa User Group. We have had three successful meetups so far, mostly discussing the research aspects and use cases with OpenDaylight.

What advice would you give to an end user who wants to try OpenDaylight for the first time?

OpenDaylight can be overwhelming at first, as it consists of a huge code base. However, that should not discourage you from getting started with OpenDaylight. If you are into SDN, you simply cannot ignore OpenDaylight. There is a developer community as well as a user community willing to help you get started. You may just ask the mailing lists, StackOverflow, or the other relevant communication media such as IRCs as advised by each of the OpenDaylight project communities. Try to find the nearest OpenDaylight User Group, to meet the OpenDaylight experts and enthusiasts in your area. Could not find any in the closest proximity? Why not start a new OpenDaylight User Group for your city? ;)

What is the biggest strength of the OpenDaylight community?

The biggest strength of OpenDaylight community is its diversity. I mean, the diversity in geographical location and the nature of the developers and users. You see big companies getting involved; then you also see the researchers and academia. We should also not forget to mention the ODLUGs (OpenDaylight User Groups)! They are popping up everywhere on their own - I mean, OpenDaylight enthusiasts are building local communities for OpenDaylight and SDN.

What does your workspace look like?

I have a lab that I share with other fellow PhD researchers at INESC-ID Lisboa. I have a server there. However, I like to work as much as possible with my laptop, as it gives me the mobility I enjoy. I always have a few papers and/or a notebook next to me, to write down some algorithms or visualize some architectures through diagrams.

What part of the world do you live in? Why there?

I live in Lisboa, Portugal. After completing my Erasmus Mundus double master degree in both Portugal and Sweden, I decided to continue my PhD in the same university in Portugal - Instituto Superior Técnico. I have started to fall in love with this small city and its climate, and I like the work environment here as well.

Where do you see OpenDaylight in the next 5 years?

SDN is right now a very hot topic in the industry and research communities. Many protocols and standards are proposed frequently. OpenDaylight is a network platform that is quick to adapt the new inventions in SDN. I see a clear path in front of OpenDaylight dominating the networking space.

Want to learn more about the ODL community? Connect with Pradeeban on LinkedIn or Twitter.