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An architecture for application-based network operations

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsPaper


Publication date19/11/2013
Host publicationMPLS SDN 2013: ISOCORE
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The latest shiny things in networking are Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV). They promise new ways of operating and managing networks, and innovative methods for deploying services, reducing operational costs, and increasing the value from deployed equipment. One of the benefits of this approach is network automation and the ability to dynamically deliver network resources for virtualized services and connectivity in support of demands from applications.

The networking industry already has many functional components and protocols such as the Path Computation Element (PCE), Application-Layer Traffic Optimization (ALTO), Interface to the Routing System (I2RS), and OpenFlow, that provide numerous features and functions required to facilitate network automation and connectivity for virtualized services and application demands. But without an overall architecture it is impossible to see how these and other components can be combined.

Application-Based Network Operations (ABNO) [1] is a term that covers the application-centric operation of networks to provide automation for on-demand and application-specific reservation of network connectivity, reliability, and resources (such as bandwidth) in a variety of network applications (including point-to- point connectivity, network and function virtualization, mobile backhaul, and mobile gateway interconnectivity) across a range of network technologies from packet (IP/MPLS) down to Ethernet and optical transport.

ABNO brings together existing technologies for gathering information from the network, for consideration and abstraction of network topologies, application of path computation and traffic engineering, and for provisioning or reserving network resources. Thus, ABNO may be seen as the use of a toolbox of existing components enhanced with a few new elements.

This presentation describes the architecture and framework for ABNO, showing how these components fit together. It provides a cookbook of existing technologies to satisfy the architecture and meet the needs of the applications, and identifies the missing components that need to be developed to make a more sophisticated and coherent operating environment. Lastly, the presentation highlights operator-derived use cases for application-driven network operation to show how the components of the ABNO architecture interact to deliver services acrossl the network.

[1] King, D. and A. Farrel, "A PCE-based Architecture for Application-based Network Operations", draft-farrkingel-pce-abno-architecture, work in progress.