Telecommunication and IT industries must work much more closely together than they do it nowadays in order to successfully manage the Internet in the future – especially if we consider that the Internet has become mobile. The future challenges for the mobile internet lie in increasing numbers of mobile end users, rapidly growing data traffic and massive consumption of energy and network resources. Technologies like HetNet and “Small Cell” networks must be used in combination to efficiently manage the data traffic flows and energy consumption. The most promising approach for creating HetNets is “Software Defined Networking” (SDN) integrated into a Cloud environment. Cloud-based SDN provides the elasticity required to integrate heterogeneous network devices that form a HetNet. Since SDN makes network management better understandable to software developers, the disrupting technology has the potential to build a bridge between IT architects and Network managers. This could be the resumé of the “First International Workshop on Cloud Technologies and Energy Efficiency in Mobile Communication Networks” (CLEEN) which took place September 2 – in conjunction with the IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC).
Cloud-based SDN will be a key technology for facing the challenges of the future Internet, said Keynote Speaker Artur Hecker, researcher working at Chinese telecommunication provider Huawei. Though this is a positive message, Hecker admits that Cloud Computing has some difficulties in delivering the required levels of availability, performance and security. Therefore Cloud Operating Systems must be made more secure and reliable than they are at the moment. A major technical challenge will be carrier grade availability (99.999% availability) for Cloud environments. TelCos need high degrees of availability when using Cloud software for delivering telecommunication services due to strong restrictions in their SLA requirements.
The ICCLab was also present with a presentation about the “Dependability Modeling Framework”. Konstantin Benz explained the framework which is used to test availability capabilities of Cloud environments. The audience was particularly interested in such methods to make Cloud Computing ready to be used as an essential part of the architecture of the “Future Internet”. Cloud-based SDN should follow strict carrier grade requirements.
The CLEEN workshop closed with a panel discussion about the future of Cloud Computing, Cloud-based SDN and its role in the “Future Internet”. Thomas M. Bohnert stated that Cloud Computing should be more than just a marketing buzz word: it should simplify delivery of telecommunication services rather than becoming a redesign of current telecommunication architectures – especially because access to the Internet has become a commodity in recent years. Cloud Computing can enhance telecommunication services by adding elasticity to (currently) inflexible network architectures, but network architects should be aware that it is not the goal of cloud-based telecommunication technology to simply mimic behaviour of conventional networks. An advantage could be the combination of cloud-based SDN with data collection applications which combines the Cloud Computing approach with Big Data and turns telecommunication services into a data-driven product. This could turn networking which is a commodity into a promising new product for the Future Internet.
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