Network & IT Convergence For Future Internet
A Workshop Organised by CaON Initiative and GEYSERS Project
The Internet has become one of the basic infrastructures that support the World economy nowadays. Networked devices are proliferating rapidly, supporting new types of services, usages and applications. While IT & Telco convergence mainly deals with dynamic flexible behaviour of network infrastructures and the integration of their operation processes with the IT infrastructures systems and services. However, the end challenge is on the capability to provide application-aware infrastructure though a new and well-defined set of Network/Infrastructure Service.
So far, provisioning services over hybrid infrastructures (managed networks and IT), composed of both IT resources (i.e. compute and storage) and high capacity networks have been considered in a separate way. Therefore, there is a key technical challenge towards this ICT convergence and hence, be able to optimize the (i) infrastructure sharing for lowering OpEx/CaPex costs, (ii) the (dynamic) services and applications deployed on top of these hybrid infrastructures, and (iii) the IT & network resource management and control convergence, required as a must for future-proof, and internet-scale enterprise applications.
The workshop will present some future research considerations being considered within the scope of the CaON (Converged and Optical Networks) cluster of the EC and expose views from different perspectives: EC research projects and industry.
- CaON is an EU Technology Cluster which aims to create a forum for FP7 funded projects in the area of Converged andrg Optical Networks in order to reinforce consensus within this technical community and act catalytically to facilitate new dialogue with other Future Networks and Future Internet projects and disciplines in Europe
- GEYSERS is an EU FP7 project with vision to qualify optical infrastructure providers and network operators with a new architecture, to enhance their traditional business operations. Optical network infrastructure providers will compose logical infrastructures and rent them out to network operators; network operators will run cost-efficient, dynamic and mission-specific networks by means of integrated control and management techniques. GEYSERS's concept is that high-end IT resources at users' premises are fully integrated with the network services procedures, both at the infrastructure-planning and connection-provisioning phases.
Sergi Figuerola MSc. Sergi Figuerola is the Director of the Distributed Applications and Networks Area of the i2CAT Foundation. He joined i2CAT in 2004 as Network Technologies Area Coordinator. From 2001 to 2004 he worked in optical network research projects at the UPC. In the meantime he started his PhD studies within the optical Communications Group of the UPC. He is MSc.in Telecommunication Engineering by the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC, January 2002) and hold a Masters in Project Management from La Salle (Universitat Ramón Llull- 2004). At i2CAT he is leading a team of 20 researchers/developers currently involved in 14 projects (being 8 of them EC research project). He is currently acting as technical coordinator of the GEYSERS FP7 project, Coordinator of the MANTYCHORE FP7 project and Chair, together with Prof. Dimitra Simeonidou, of the European cluster on Converged and Optical Networks (CaON). He performed as Research Activity Leader in the FEDERICA FP7 project and WorkPackage Leader in the PHOSPHORUS FP6 project. His main research interests are related to optical networking, new architectures, Infrastructure as a Service, cloud computing and Future networks/Internet. He has also interests on research project's management.
- Antonio Manzalini (Telecom Italy) - Project Manager
"Future Networks Stability and Performance"
- Georgios Zervas (Uessex) - Lecturer
"Flexible Optical Metro Networks for Future Services"
- Nicola Ciulli (NXW) - CTO
"Coordinated control of network and DC resources for automated IT service provisioning"
- Joan A. Garcia (i2CAT) - Senior Researcher
"Hybrid Infrastructure Virtualisation supporting Future Internet Services"
- Pierre Peloso (ALBLF) - Senior Researcher (Scientist)
"Network Morphing: Autonomic function to adapt the optical layer to traffic evolutions"
- John Dunne (Intune) - CTO
"Scaling To A Single National Computer Network - Is This Possible With Today's Internet & Layered Model Architecture?"
- Philip Robinson (SAP) - Senior Researcher
"Why Cloud Computing and the Business Web need Network & IT Convergence?"
- Andreas Gladish (DT) - Manager of Project Field
"ICT convergence and SDN"
The Internet has become one of the basic infrastructures that support the World economy nowadays. Networked computer devices are proliferating rapidly, supporting new types of services, usages and applications: from wireless sensor networks and new optical network technologies to cloud computing, high-end mobile devices supporting high definition media, high performance computers, peer-to-peer networks and a never ending list of platforms and applications. In the last years there has been a trend (and a requirement) for a convergence of the different networked platforms towards a unifying architecture or reference model, in order to allow for seamless end-to-end communication regardless of the device technology and access infrastructure.
Particularly, some of these different areas and technologies are going to generate a big impact on the evolution of our society. We can establish an initial differentiation between mid-term and long-term approaches. Being the former the convergence of IT & Telco towards cloud computing, through optimisation of interactions between applications providers, resource and service consumers, network operators and infrastructure providers with SLA mapping; and the later the definition of new architectures as key area of basic research for the coming years.
The IT & Telco convergence mainly deals with dynamic flexible behaviour of network infrastructures and the integration of their operation processes with the IT infrastructures systems and services. However, the end challenge is on the capability to provide application-aware infrastructure though a new and well-defined set of Network/Infrastructure Service Interfaces. Nowadays' e-science and high-technology industry require high-performance infrastructure capable of handling Internet-scale enterprise applications, large volume of data and support complex scientific applications and technological processes. Considering the business application needs as driver, an Internet-scale Enterprise Application consists of globally distributed components and subsystems delivered as services. These services function autonomously with globally distributed users, who have different workloads and connection characteristics including mobility, and globally distributed information. Mainly because the exponential grow of high definition applications and cloud computing capabilities needs, the volumes of stored and transmitted information continue to grow to the order of petabytes, making intelligent resource usage, optimization and communications acceleration techniques mandatory, including caching, compression, transcoding, parallelisation and optical network load-balancing with dynamic and impairments-aware provisioning. Actually, the dynamicity of those applications and collaborative group environments require that such infrastructures are provisioned on demand and capable of dynamic (re-) configuration. Also to optimize the resource usage and reduce the service provisioning time, which so far is still manual compared to application service needs. In fact, these applications will continue to evolve in features, size and amount of customers, as the associated business requirements change. Thus, the availability, performance, security and cost-effectiveness of application-aware infrastructure remain critical, as they support business decisions and data in a fast-paced, economy-driven environment.
So far, provisioning services over hybrid infrastructures (managed networks and IT), composed of both IT resources (i.e. compute and storage) and high capacity networks have been considered in a separate way. Thus, there is a strong need of a unified management and provisioning procedures for infrastructure services across the whole set of resources involved in a cloud computing scenario. This means the usage of core and metro cognitive, flexible, elastic and adaptive technologies for optical networks, with dynamic control plane functionalities, and software defined networks (SDN) for the whole integration with the datacentre network and IT infrastructure services. SDN thus gives owners and operators of networks better control over their networks, allowing them to optimize network behaviour to best serve their and their users needs. However, current disjoint evolution has ended up with totally decoupled solutions for each type of resource and infrastructures, those under the network operator domain and those under the datacenter administrator domain. Therefore, there is a key technical challenge towards this ICT convergence and hence, be able to optimize the (i) infrastructure sharing for lowering OpEx/CaPex costs, and (ii) the (dynamic) services and applications deployed on top of these hybrid infrastructures with energy efficiency considerations. In this context, convergence also considers the trend toward infrastructure resource virtualisation and federation, thus providing full flexibility at the infrastructure level.
Therefore, IT & network resource management and control convergence is required as a must for future-proof, and internet-scale enterprise applications. Distributed applications, consuming resources spread all over the world, require datacentres and network core/metro convergence in order to optimize the service workflow and overall performance for cloud computing applications. Dynamic provisioning of one type of infrastructure resources only considers part of the problem, and typically leads to a waste of resources due to over-provisioning, mostly in networks, and sharing limitations in all kinds of resource usage. It must be noted that as time goes, , hardware is increasing its power (switching, computing, storage, etc.) and embedding degree, which means that a higher control in granularity is needed too, both at the network and IT level. In the end, the challenge is on providing a common and transparent infrastructure able to integrate different technologies and services, where virtualisation is not the end solution but an adequate technique for overcoming many limitations.
Some future research considerations presented and being discussed during the workshop are:
- Unified and converged IT and optical resources description languages and frameworks.
- Multi-granular, cognitive, elastic and flexible adaptive optical networks (e.g. HW configuration).
- Isolation and flexibility of circuit oriented optical networks (virtualisation).
- Definition of the impact of these new technologies on legacy business models.
- Inter-administrative domain issues between optical networks and datacentres.
- Non-standard optical connectivity service provisioning (e..g Alien wavelength services).
- Carrier grade cloud and datacentre integrated infrastructure services and role of optical networking.
- Automated end to end service provisioning and monitoring between different network segments and operators with coordination with the management plane.
- Optical Network/IT resources optimization by means of cross-stratum interworking mechanisms.
- Unified OAM mechanisms able to operate in a complex (multi-technology, multi-domain and multi-carrier behaviour).
- New optical network service provisioning interface: this interface may enable the request of new and advanced services form the cloud to the network control plane.
- On demand optical network provisioning services with advance re-planning functionalities.
- Co-advertisement, co-planning, composition and co-provisioning of any type of optical network resource and IT services (i.e. connectivity + IT resources at the end-points coordinated in a single, optimal procedure)
- Scalable for multi-domain and multi-technology scenarios with Open control planes and enhanced UNI's interfaces.