It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our treasured LFN community members, Al Morton. Al Morton unexpectedly passed away, peacefully, on June 16th 2023, after battling cancer for many years. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family, friends, and the greater networking community with which he touched, at this time.
As one of the original pioneers of open source that fueled the open source networking revolution, Al had a successful career in addition to his robust open source efforts (which included acting as OPNFV TSC chair and committing on several other Linux Foundation projects): He has been a recognized contributor in U.S. and global network performance standards committees for more than 25 years.He authored or co-authored more than 35 IETF RFC.
See below for highlights of LFN community member engagements with Al over the years.
“Al was a pioneer of many things. In our context, he was an early member of the LFN community including OPNFV and Anuket. He was an active contributor and key member of the community during his time in this community.” — Jonne Soininen, Nokia and LFN Governing Board member
“Everything that I have learned in network testing and benchmarking, it is from Al. He was a guru to me and I’ll miss him a lot. I have been working with him since 2015 in the OPNFV VSwitchperf project and through his guidance we could achieve a lot of things – published papers in IEEE conferences, created ETSI and IETF specifications, given talks and demos together at different LF summits. Om Shanti.” – Sridhar Rao, Linux Foundation
“My most prominent memory of Al was when he wrote and played a song for the LFN community back in 2017. His friendly nature and adept experience made him an incredible colleague and friend to the LFN community and he will be dearly missed.” – Casey Cain, Linux Foundation
“The sudden departure of Al Morton is definitely a huge loss to the LFN community. We all miss the time working with him together. On behalf of my company, I would like to express our respect for his outstanding contributions to open-source network technologies and extend our deepest condolences to his family.” – Jie Hu, ZTE Corporation and LFN Governing Board member
“Al was one of the most curious, kind, open, and collaborative people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. He was the sort of person who could bring a smile to your face even at your most jet-lagged and frustrated. He never stopped learning and he never stopped teaching others. I remember so many conversations over beers after our long days hashing out architecture and testing protocols where he showed me what a genuinely amazing spirit he had – I loved our talks. His leadership and problem solving were crucial to OPNFV and Anuket. LFN wouldn’t be where we are today if not for him. I considered him not just a colleague, but a friend. I will miss him terribly, as will our whole industry.” – Heather Kirksey, Linux Foundation
“Al was a valued member of our AT&T team, working at Bell Labs, the U.S. Army Satellite Communications Agency, and Computer Sciences Corporation. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and our prayers are with his family.” – Catherine LeFevre, AT&T and LFN Governing Board member
“I remember attending an event where much to his chagrin, Al was introduced as, The God of NFV Testing. Over Al’s objections and the chuckles of those in attendance, more than a few people could be heard saying, “It’s true.” Al epitomized what it means to be a collaborative open source community leader. He never stopped looking for ways to bring folks together and was adept in his ability to arrive at solutions which addressed the emotional baggage, political limitations and technical differences that regularly occur whenever highly talented people come together on a global scale to build industry transforming software. He had a profound impact on what we do and how we do it and he will be sorely missed.” – Kenny Paul, Linux Foundation
“When I first joined the LF, Anuket was one of the first communities I encountered, and Al welcomed me with open arms. His kindness, warmth, and eagerness to help made a lasting impression on me. Even though I never had the chance to meet him in person, his impact on me and the community was immense. As the saying goes, people may forget what you said or did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Al embodied this sentiment, and I will always remember the way he made me feel like a part of the community. He will be missed dearly.” – Sandra Jackson, Linux Foundation
Rest in peace, Al. We are all better for knowing you.