I recently gave a lecture at Georgia Tech to a group of graduate students. After the lecture, I had a student approach me and ask, “I am really interested in telecommunications. What areas should I study?” My answer was “Either the fundamentals of high speed optics … or software. Software is where the networks are moving.”
The technical content of this year’s BCE was, as usual, presented by some of the best and brightest minds in telecom. Unfortunately, most of those minds were in agreement that the landscape for SDN and NFV, in particular, has not gotten any clearer in the last year. In fact, in many ways the clouds have gotten denser.
Probably more than any other industry sector, the telecommunications market has the habit of jumping from one hype cycle to the next, with only short phases of realism and depression in between. As opposed to other industries, both vendors and customers seem to be participating in this vicious circle - ‘full steam’. Neither side wants to be woken up, let alone stopped.
In the old westerns (often actually shot in Italy or Mexico, rather than the Western United States), when a new gunfighter strolls into town there will always be that fateful moment when someone will say, “this town ain’t big enough for the two of us.” Then some arrangement will be made to meet at dawn on the main street. In the routing world, the problem is often not too many gunfighters, but too few, particularly when it comes to routing stacks. There are a few, of course, including Cisco, Juniper, IP Infusion, Ericsson, and some other well-known names.
The field of artificial intelligence (Al) has tickled human interest for decades. It began in earnest in the mid-20th century when a group of scientists and programmers presented the world’s first true “artificial intelligence program: the Logic Theorist”. Since then, top scientists and practitioners have proven repeatedly how we can teach computers to do human tasks.
Kudos to the organizers who do a great job of keeping this long running event fresh and relevant, even as they continue adding acronyms to its name. I had the distinct pleasure this year of presenting an opportunity for SPs to offer cyber security as a managed service to business customers, by exploiting network function virtualization.
So far in this series on Software Defined Networks (SDNs), I’ve discussed a basic taxonomy that can be used to classify SDNs, some of the challenges with actually building a control plane, and examined several SDN and SDN-like solutions through the lens of the southbound interface. In order to help you understand the problem space better, this post will consider the CAP theorem in relation to the concept of an SDN.
In consumer marketing we are familiar with the concept of giving a way one product (or selling it at a heavily discounted price) in order to build a market for even larger sales of another product. Giving away the razor to sell the blades is the classic example, and a more modern one is giving away the printer to sell the ink cartridges.
The original Path Computation Element Protocol (PCEP) work dates from the early 2000’s, with the first IETF RFC (4655) being made informational in 2006—which means PCEP predates the time when SDNs were “cool.” PCEP was originally, because of the increasingly complex nature of computing Traffic Engineering (TE) paths through (primarily), Service Provider (SP) networks. Three specific developments drove the design, standardization, and deployment of PCEP—
Network slicing is the ability to carve out and dedicate different sets of resources, end-to-end, from a common network, to support different types of service. It is tightly linked with 5G mobile, where its role is to magically provide networking support for 5G’s multiple service classes – headlined by high-speed mobile broadband, low-latency critical communications, and massive IoT.