Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, TJ Randall

Related Topics: SDN Journal, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo, Cloud Security

SDN Journal: Article

The World of SDN and NFV: The Rise of the Stupid Network? | Part 3

We finally have the opportunity to perhaps see the reality of what could have been the manifesto for the IP revolution

In my previous blog, I suggested that both Software-Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV), although arguably different in intent and in detail, are nevertheless both driving the evolution of network architecture in the same direction. Network functions are abstracted in order to enable them to run on commodity servers using commodity storage with all the benefits associated with that approach: cost reduction, flexibility and superior management. The "network" (the SDN data forwarding plane) will be simplified and somewhat dumb, and the intelligence, such as it is, will then exist in a consolidated management layer (the SDN control plane). From the control plane point of view, the packet-carrying network below will look pretty much like a single giant switch responding to programming and instructions from above and sending back usage events and performance parameters to the management systems. As I look at what is shaping SDN and NFV, it strikes me that we finally have the opportunity to perhaps see the reality of what could have been the manifesto for the IP revolution - it just took fifteen years to get here.

Fifteen years ago, as Internet adoption began to accelerate, David Isenberg wrote the very controversial "The Rise of the Stupid Network." He argued that the assumptions that had shaped the telecommunications industry were no longer valid: data traffic was overtaking voice, circuit switching was succumbing to packet, price performance was radically improving and customers were increasingly taking control. He suggested that the network should be "stupid," and simply deliver the bits from point A to point B and that intelligence should be the domain of intelligent endpoints interfacing on the stupid network. Today, no one can argue with the interoperability benefits of a ubiquitous protocol like IP, which has now worked itself into our smartphones, TVs, tablets, smart meters and more.

You may wonder what billing and multi-party compensation or settlement has to do with this network re-arrangement, as well as what it means to us and to others involved in billing. I would suggest that a similar seismic shift is occurring in billing and compensation as a result of SDN and NFV. In either the SDN or the NFV model, billing is still there, and in theory can be fed records of billable events in much the same way as today.

In reality, we expect the change to be much more dramatic. When an entire carrier network can be viewed and managed as a single logical switch, then clearly network functions such as usage event collection, authentication and authorization can be located in the control plane. Product managers and network managers will be able to implement services by programming the network, following a testing and validation regime no different from that used for implementing software releases. In other words, it will allow for faster, less risky service development and implementation.

It is conceivable and, in my opinion, very likely that product managers, liberated from the tyranny of service silos and instantiating new services across silos and their associated network elements, will quickly take advantage of this power and flexibility to dream up all sorts of new network services and service mashups. With these developments, they will likely bring in non-network service components, and with those services, a previously unimagined array of novel chargeable events.

How will billing providers react to this newfound flexibility? Or more specifically, how will traditional billing hold it back? Find out in Part 4.

More Stories By Esmeralda Swartz

Esmeralda Swartz is VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud, BUSS. She has spent 15 years as a marketing, product management, and business development technology executive bringing disruptive technologies and companies to market. Esmeralda was CMO of MetraTech, now part of Ericsson. At MetraTech, Esmeralda was responsible for go-to-market strategy and execution for enterprise and SaaS products, product management, business development and partner programs. Prior to MetraTech, Esmeralda was co-founder, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Lightwolf Technologies, a big data management startup. She was previously co-founder and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development of Soapstone Networks, a developer of resource and service control software, now part of Extreme Networks.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


CloudEXPO Stories
Your job is mostly boring. Many of the IT operations tasks you perform on a day-to-day basis are repetitive and dull. Utilizing automation can improve your work life, automating away the drudgery and embracing the passion for technology that got you started in the first place. In this presentation, I'll talk about what automation is, and how to approach implementing it in the context of IT Operations. Ned will discuss keys to success in the long term and include practical real-world examples. Get started on automating your way to a brighter future!
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next-gen applications and how to address the challenges of building applications that harness all data types and sources.
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments that frequently get lost in the hype. The panel will discuss their perspective on what they see as they key challenges and/or impediments to adoption, and how they see those issues could be resolved or mitigated.
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 12-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI and Machine Learning to one location.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Nutanix has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO New York, which will take place November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Nutanix makes infrastructure invisible, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. The Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform blends web-scale engineering and consumer-grade design to natively converge server, storage, virtualization and networking into a resilient, software-defined solution with rich machine intelligence.