Applications with Intents: Unlocking Innovations in SDN

NorthBound Interface (NBI) that can consume applications’ intents for desired connectivity and traffic treatment is an elegant and powerful concept that can accelerate development of wide range of network applications on SDN.  In this post, I will describe the idea and then fire-up a controller and a forwarding plane to get deeper insights into the potential of application intents. … Read more

Path Computation Capability and Use Cases

Path computation tackles routing of flows across a network and allocates bandwidth resources to flows.   Routing can improve (or degrade) network performance and in my previous post I used an example to illustrate effectiveness of routing to optimize network resource utilization and manage service performance by preventing uneven utilization links. While control mechanisms and protocols to distribute and configure paths have consistently matured overtime, path computation is still mostly done manually or with early stage shortest path algorithms.  This is like having a sleek sports car with high-performance tires and a Ford Model-T with 20 hp engine – a great car in its time but inadequate today. The capability to compute paths is critical to optimize network performance and is a key enabler of routine activities that network operators undertake.  Let’s look at characteristics of path computation capability and its use cases. … Read more

Path Computation and Network Optimization

Throw-bandwidth-at-it is the most common methodology to fix all sorts of network issues with performance, service restoration or capacity for new services.  As the name suggests, it relies on adding capacity to solve a wide range of problems associated with resources in the network.  It is a simple strategy but also expensive in terms of initial capital investment, operational cost and increases network complexity making it less flexible to accommodate new business requirements.  Let’s take a look at a different strategy based on network routing to reduce cost and complexity of optical and connection-oriented layer 2 technologies, e.g. MPLS and carrier Ethernet. … Read more