ARCFIRE’s D2.1: Converged Network Operational Environment Report [pdf] is now available for download at the deliverables area. Below you can find the executive summary.
Although network convergence is a long desired goal, current service providers are still working to integrate different access technologies and different network services into a single, common infrastructure. Future-proof service providers must design and deploy converged networks that are capable of supporting any access media and any application requirement using a common infrastructure. This deliverable analyzes what technologies can be used today to design and implement such a converged network vision following an all-IP approach. In order to allow for a best-case comparison with a RINA design in D2.2, we have adopted the perspective that the provider designs his network from scratch. This way there is no need to consider support for legacy technologies, minimizing the number of protocols required in the network.
Section 2 reviews the main technologies and protocols used in the different parts of a typical service provider network today, with the goal of analyzing how the multiple components that integrate it interact with each other and how the various protocols are layered and interoperate. This section analyzes i) different access network technologies for different physical media – LTE Advanced for cellular radio, WiFi for wireless LANs, xDSL for copper-based access networks and FTTH for optical fibre; ii) carrier Ethernet and MPLS as technologies for traffic aggregation at the metro level; iii) MPLS-based BGP-free service provider core networks; iv) technologies for allowing a service provider to interconnect with other networks (via peering and transit agreements); v) multi-tenant, large-scale datacenter networking solutions; vi) technologies for providing L2 and L3 VPN services based on BGP; vii) network security and viii) network management approaches including technologies for exploiting network programmability.
The conclusions of this analysis are used in section 3 to design the architecture of a converged service provider network, supporting multiple types of access media and a varied set of network services. It is important to highlight that this is a logical design: it has the essential elements of a real design, but each real network will have very detailed constraints that will result in variations and refinements to this more general model. Nevertheless, the model is detailed enough to allow for a meaningful analysis and comparison with RINA-based converged service provider networks.
Section 4 reports the results of an analysis of architectural limitations in the converged service provider network design depicted in section 3. The analysis of the limitations has been divided into 7 areas: network architecture; protocol design; naming, addressing and routing; mobility and multi-homing; quality of service, resource allocation, congestion control; security and network management. Section 5 concludes that the limitations identified in the previous section are inherent in the network architecture and protocols upon which the design is based. Therefore, in order for these limitations to be overcome an alternative network architecture is required. ARCFIRE’s deliverable D2.2 will propose a logical RINA-based converged service provider network design, and compare it to the design outlined in D2.1 in the light of the limitations identified in this document.