Intelligence in Future Broadband Networks: Challenges and Opportunities in High-Speed Active Networking

James P.G. Sterbenz,
“Intelligence in Future Broadband Networks: Challenges and Opportunities in High-Speed Active Networking”,
Proceedings of IEEE International Zürich Seminar on Broadband Communications (IZS 2002),
Zürich, Feb. 2002, pp. 2-1–2-7.
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ABSTRACT

This invited paper considers the challenges and opportunities in the provision of active processing in broadband networks. Active networking aims to provide a systematic mechanism to use processing capabilities within network nodes (switches and routers) to allow the dynamic provisioning and composition of advanced services. Many of these services are traditionally offered at the application layer or require changes to the network layer standards. Active networking has the potential for improving performance by providing functionality at the right place and layer, without the need to go up to the application layer. The processing gains achieved by Moore’s Law are frequently touted as the motivation for active networking. It is the ratio of processing and memory to bandwidth, however, that governs how much active processing is achievable. Active node architectures should support active processing with a flexible mix of software and programmable hardware based on the granularity of the processing. Significant practical challenges remain before active networking technology will be deployed and adopted. In particular, active networking is a technology awaiting the killer application.

Index Terms

Active high-speed broadband optical networking

Outline

  1. INTRODUCTION TO ACTIVE NETWORKING
    1. Active Network Flavors
    2. Active Processing Granularity
    3. Active Network Architecture
    4. Active Node Architecture
  2. PSTN AND INTERNET INTELLIGENCE
    1. PSTN: Intelligence in the Network
    2. ARPANET to Internet: Intelligence at the Edges
    3. Evolving Internet: Hacked Intelligence
  3. THE ROLE OF THE END-TO-END ARGUMENTS
  4. MOORE'S LAW: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
    1. Resource Tradeoffs
    2. Processing/Bandwidth Ratio
    3. Location of Active Processing
    4. Higher Layer Processing
    5. Optical Networks
    6. Activity at Subnetwork Boundaries
  5. Practical Challenges
    1. Open Architectures and Signalling
    2. Conservative Service Providers
    3. Finding the Killer Application
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. References

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©2003 James P.G. Sterbenz <jpgs@sterbenz.org>