Huawei, the multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company, recently proposed their new vision for carrier network technology. Hoping to greatly improve application efficiency for networks while providing more control for developers, Huawei plans to shift to an innovative Application-driven Network (ADN) architecture, thinking ahead for the future of 5G.
At the IEEE Globecom 2015 conference in San Diego, Huawei Fellow Dr. Wen Tong said:
"Our innovative ADN architecture vision puts applications at the network's core to deliver significant efficiency gains for network applications. Unlike traditional network architectures, ADNs will support application abstraction, network reorganization, global and local coordination of network resources, and application decoupling by service layering. With these advantages, ADN is poised to meet a variety of future application demands, for example, in 5G networks."
Claiming to be the first to propose that networks should put the application level first, Huawei believes this concept will radically change how both fixed and wireless networks are to be created in the future. However, according to this IBM redbook (circa 1999), we can see that ADN is not a completely novel idea, though its actual implementation is another story. Explaining how ADN is different from NFV (Network Functions Virtualization - a supporting technology that assists in implementation) and SDN (Software-defined Networking - network engineer focused) concepts, IBM states:
This architecture turns the old concept around; applications used to have to conform to the limitations of the network, whereas now networks can be made to conform to the requirements of the applications.
For more information on the differences between ADN and SDN, check out this article.
It's also important to note that Huawei plans to integrate NFV and SDN technologies with ADN creating a comprehensive network architecture with a focus on user experience. At the moment, it's tough to discern exactly how this will effect users, but giving developers more control over layers four through seven hopefully means all-around higher quality performance.
ADN also plans to support 5G network slicing. This feature is key for allowing support of multiple RANs (Radio Access Networks) or different service types running across a single RAN, which will be necessary for the plethora of connections available on 5G along with price-constraints: "low-cost bandwidth at one end of the spectrum, as it were, while also providing low-power, low speed IoT connections, video streaming optimised services and the oft-mentioned low latency, high speed, ultra-reliable premium services".
So, with Huawei's push for ADN architecture and 5G networking, developers can expect more control and thus more work. I'll leave you with the words of an incredibly supportive uncle...
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