SIGCOMM Networking Systems Award Guidelines

The SIGCOMM Networking Systems Award is awarded to an institution or individual(s) to recognize the development of a networking system that has had a significant impact on the world of computer networking. The impact may be reflected in the wide-spread adoption of the system or its underlying concepts by the wider networking community either in research projects, in the open-source community, or commercially.

The award includes a prize of $2,500 (to be shared among the recipients) and plaque(s) for the recipient(s).


Relationship to ACM Software Systems Award

This differs in scope from the ACM Software System Award as it targets only networking systems, and is not restricted only to software. Networking systems may be realized as software, hardware, or a combination of both. Some recipients of the SIGCOMM Networking Systems award may be eligible

for the ACM Software Systems Award. However, systems that have received the ACM Software Systems Award in the past will not be considered for the SIGCOMM Networking Systems Award.


Selection Committee

The chair of the selection committee is a member of SIGCOMM appointed by the SIGCOMM awards chair. Other committee members are selected by the chair of the selection committee with approval of the SIGCOMM awards chair. The SIGCOMM awards Chair shall adjudicate conflicts of interest, appointing substitutes to the committee as necessary. The committee will have a minimum of three members.



Nominations may be submitted at any time to the SIGCOMM awards chair. Nominations submitted by January 31st will be considered for that year's award, which will be announced at the annual SIGCOMM conference. Self-nominations (individual or institutional) will not be accepted. A nomination for the award that is not selected will remain under consideration for 2 additional years.


Each nomination should consist of the following items:

  1. Name, address, phone number, and email address of the person making the nomination (the nominator).
  2. Name, address, phone number, and email address of the candidates for whom an award is recommended (the nominees). If the nominee is an institution: name, address, and URL for the institution.
  3. A short statement (200-500 words) that includes a brief description of the system, and a description of the impact that the system has had. Furthermore, the nomination should contain references that describe the system (e.g., papers or web pages for downloading the system and additional material) and, if possible, references to adoptions of the system.
  4. Names and email addresses of 5-10 people whom the nominator believes will support the nomination. The awards committee will solicit input from some or all of these individuals and from other sources as they deem necessary.


Ongoing publicity would be the same as for other SIGCOMM awards. A call for nominations will be sent to SIGCOMM members, mailing lists and social media channels in advance of the deadline. The announcement of the award should receive special publicity in the monthly email to SIGCOMM members and at the SIGCOMM conference.



To come from SIGCOMM annually.


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Examples of candidate systems (intended only to illustrate the potential scope of the award)

Open vSwitch

Open vSwitch is a production quality, multilayer virtual switch, developed originally by a small team and now supported by a large open source community. It is designed to enable programmatic extension as well as standard management interfaces and protocols. It has formed the basis for a wide range of research projects and commercial products, and it serves as the reference implementation of OpenFlow.


The Akamai CDN

Beginning with the publication of "Consistent Hashing and Random Trees" (Karger et al, 1997) Akamai created the theoretical basis and practical implementation of modern content distribution networks (CDNs). This technology has become central to the efficient distribution of popular content on the Internet.


NAT (Network Address Translation)

Network Address Translation has been in use for over 20 years to tackle a number of networking issues, notably the shrinking pool of available IPv4 address space. It is a technology that is now implemented in almost every home router and has allowed billions of devices to be connected to the Internet.


BGP (Border Gateway Protocol)

BGP is the interdomain routing protocol on which the Internet depends for the distribution of global routing information. It was created at the time when the Internet was moving from a simple tree-like topology to a more complex interconnection of autonomous systems, and has survived many orders of magnitude of growth in the size of routing tables and numbers of ASes.