The advent of virtualisation and the outsourcing of ICT over collocation environments are changing the landscape of future networked infrastructures, shifting the attention from bandwidth (over)provisioning to converged (network, compute, storage) service provisioning in short timescales. At the same time, data communication networks are increasingly considered part of the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) the same way utility and industrial control networks are, and need to be resilient against deliberate cyber-attacks, natural disasters, and misconfigurations.
The above trends force us to rethink the way we design future networks with a view towards transforming them from situation-agnostic, data-carrying media to intelligent information infrastructures.
In this talk, I will give an overview of recent research activities we have been undertaking at Glasgow’s netlab to facilitate converged and flexible network-wide service deployment and management, exploiting advances in Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV).
I will try to provide insights into some controversial aspects, like, e.g., how “intelligent” a network should be, and what are the trade-offs between centralised and distributed network control. I will start with the description of a recent collaborative research project on “a situation-aware information infrastructure” and then cover some of our technical contributions in network-centric mechanisms to support the realisation of intelligent information infrastructures.