Huawei views NFV, SDN as components in radical future network architecture vision

Huawei proposed a new applications-based approach to carrier network architecture that it said will bolster 5G network slicing and integrate NFV and SDN as component technologies.

The vendor said the Application-driven Network (ADN) is a radical approach that puts applications and service demands front and centre in network design and evolution, rather than prioritising network resource utilisation and operational optimisation.

Huawei said it is the first infrastructure company to propose the approach, which will provide methods to meet the application demands of 5G and other networks.

In a statement, Huawei explained ADN is a top layer network architecture design that enables end-to-end network customisation based on application demands. Focusing on the demands of applications will enable operators to improve user experience, the company said.

Huawei proposed to deliver the end-to-end customisation function by incorporating NFV and SDN as component technologies within the network architecture rather than as stand-alone technologies. The company stated that NFV and SDN have yet to deliver economic benefits as part of a comprehensive network architecture focussed on user experience.

In contrast, the vendor's new approach offers a flexible architecture for hierarchal management and places the focus of network performance squarely on user experience, the company stated.

Huawei further explained that ADNs will dynamically adapt to network changes and that, in theory, the approach offers the capability of producing more stable networks, accommodating future application-based change demands, and better management of uncertainties associated with services.

The new approach to network design and evolution will drive a transformation in network operation models and enable a major shift in focus from network-led key performance indicators (KPIs) to service experience-based KPIs. Huawei said the shift will enable operators to improve and create new network revenue streams.

Huawei Fellow Dr. Wen Tong said the Chinese vendor's ADN vision "puts applications at the network's core to deliver significant application-efficiency gains for networks."

The company stated that the approach will lead to a radical shift in the design and construction of wireless networks in future, and offer similar benefits in the fixed-line world.

"Unlike traditional network architectures, ADNs will support application abstraction, network re-programmability, global and local coordination of network resources, and application decoupling by service layer," Tong explained, adding: "With these advantages, ADN is poised to meet a variety of future application demands, for example, in 5G networks."

For more:
- see this Huawei announcement

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