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it - Information Technology

Methods and Applications of Informatics and Information Technology

Editor-in-Chief: Conrad, Stefan / Molitor, Paul

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Volume 57, Issue 5


Softwarization of carrier networks

Mario Kind / Róbert Szabó / Catalin Meirosu / Fritz-Joachim Westphal
Published Online: 2015-10-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2015-0019


Carrier networks are faced with continuous transformations of their technology platforms in order to keep up with the changing customer demands. This paper will show how the transition from stovepipe networks to layered architectures enabled the shift to a future network design based on a network operation system (NetOS) operating the ICT fabric containing merely any kind of resources. Basic, underlying concepts are presented and detailed how they will be integrated in this environment. Software components and related development and management processes are becoming an integrated part of this future carrier environment, representing a softwarization of carrier networks. Key technology enablers are Software Defined Networking and Network Function Virtualisation as well as general availability of compute, storage and networking resources.

Existing “Network as a Service” approach benefit from this improvements with virtualization, control plane flexibility and adoption of Operation, Administration and Maintenance (OAM) feature to the latest developments. But carrier services will need additional improvements, resulting in the the presented paradigm of “Generic Resources as a Service”. This novel concept will fulfill most demands for flexible service composition, multi-provider and -domain support, automated deployment and operation.

Keywords: Softwarization; carrier networks; software defined networks; network function virtualisation; Network as a Service (NaaS)

ACM CCS: Networks→Network Architectures→Network design principles; Network→Network Services→Cloud Computing

About the article

Mario Kind

Mario Kind works as a professional R&D engineer for Telekom Innovation Laboratories, the research department of Deutsche Telekom AG. During the last eight years in research he was evaluating the business, technology, and service trends in the Internet, telecommunication, and broadcast industry, and he consults on the impact on the future of broadband access networks. Currently he is challenged by the new possibilities presented by SDN and NFV topics, especially by participation in research projects FP7 ICT SPARC and UNIFY.

Deutsche Telekom AG, Telekom Innovation Laboratories

Róbert Szabó

Róbert Szabó received his Ph.D. from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) in 2002. He was with Ericsson Research Hungary between 2000–2006. He was the president of the Telecommunications Section of the Scientific Association for Infocommunications, Hungary, between 2005–2007. He was the deputy head of the Department of Telecommunications and Media Informatics (TMIT), BME, between 2008–2010. He was the head of the High Speed Networking Lab at BME, between 2007–2012. He rejoined Ericsson in 2013, where he currently works as the technical coordinator for the EU-FP7 UNIFY project. He is also an associate professor at TMIT, BME part time.

Ericsson AB, Ericsson Research

Catalin Meirosu

Catalin Meirosu is a master researcher with Ericsson Research in Stockholm, Sweden, which he joined in 2007. He holds a PhD in telecommunications (2005) from Politehnica University, Bucharest, Romania and was a project associate of the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland. Catalin has six granted patents and co-authored over thirty scientific papers. He is currently working to develop DevOps capabilities for service providers in the FP7 UNIFY project. Catalin was a Guest Editor of two IEEE Communications Magazine Special Issues on Network and Service Virtualization published in 2015, and is serving in several technical program committees for IEEE conferences.

Ericsson AB, Ericsson Research

Fritz-Joachim Westphal

Fritz-Joachim Westphal received his Dipl.-Ing. degree in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Berlin. He has over 25 years of experience in the field of telecommunications. For 16 years he has been a member of different research departments of Deutsche Telekom, and is currently responsible for the research group “Network Architecture & Modelling” of the Telekom Innovation Laboratories. He has authored or coauthored more than 100 technical conference or journal papers.

Deutsche Telekom AG, Telekom Innovation Laboratories

Revised: 2015-07-29

Accepted: 2015-07-31

Received: 2015-05-17

Published Online: 2015-10-01

Published in Print: 2015-10-28

Seventh Framework Programme, FP7 ICT UNIFY, grant agreement number 619609

Citation Information: it - Information Technology, Volume 57, Issue 5, Pages 277–284, ISSN (Online) 2196-7032, ISSN (Print) 1611-2776, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/itit-2015-0019.

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