Telecom Vernacular: Trending SDN- and NFV-Related Terminology

Posted by Mae Kowalke on Sunday, November 15, 2015 with No comments

Every industry has its own vernacular, and those involving technology—including telecom—tend to rapidly spawn new words, terms, and acronyms. It can be hard to keep up. Here is a glossary of terminology observed as trending during SDN and OpenFlow World Congress last month. Take note; this language is likely to become familiar during 2016 and beyond.

Application-Aware Network Routing (AAR) - Routing methodology where applications define the service level agreement (SLA); routing adapts to demands, so user experience is based on application not location.

Branches - Access links in a network, spanning virtual and physical topologies; a software-defined networking (SDN) control term. Not just a branch, like a bank, but all endpoints of an interconnection.

Choreography - System-wide orchestration of domain orchestrators.

Cloud Bursting - The act of scaling out to private and public clouds as resources and applications demand it.

Cloudification - The move from virtual network functions (VNFs) on individual machines to cloud infrastructure (compute, storage, WAN) for scalability and agility.

Data Center Access (DCA) - aka 'hybrid cloud connectivity,' or 'virtual private cloud connections'—typically from enterprises to data center(s).

Data Center Interconnect (DCI) - Connecting data centers to each other over large area networks.

Source: Francisco-Javier Ramon Salguero, Head of Network Virtualisation 

– GCTO Unit, Telef√≥nica Chair of ETSI NFV Testing, 
Experimentation and Open Source WG

Distributed Packet Capture - Use of distributed deep packet inspection technology to provide the application-layer visibility needed to intelligently manage traffic and the customer experience over widely distributed, multi-vendor, service provider networks.

Enhanced Platform Awareness (EPA) - The ability for NFVO to select particular servers based on their compute speed, network I/O capabilities, etc.—as opposed to treating all servers as identical. Required because standard compute does not perform at a level needed to host networking functions, so infrastructure capabilities must self-declare to orchestrators.

Federated Controllers - ‘super controllers’ that control end-to-end service by controlling ‘domain controllers,’ including the customer’s own controllers for their network slices (network-as-a-service/NaaS).

Micro-segementation of policies, security, and resource grouping.

Micro-services / decompose - The decomposition of functions into components that can be re-combined openly to create complete functions and services.

Source: Hewlett Packard
Mobile Edge Compute (MEC) - Infrastructure that can report radio capacity, etc. back to applications and controllers; essentially dynamic performance optimization (DPO) at the physical and app layers.

Performance visibility as a foundation for innovation. Source: Verizon.

“NFV is the use case for SDN” - The conclusion that service providers find network functions virtualization (NFV) to be the ‘killer app’ that makes software-defined networking (SDN) worth the investment.

Policy-Based Routing using service chains for flexibility.

Software-Defined Operator (SDO) - a provider who opens an API to network control directly to their customers, a term coined by Axel Clauberg, VP of IP and Optical at Deutsche Telekom.

Software-Defined WAN (SD WAN) - A dynamic, programmable WAN (including bandwidth on demand), with application-aware routing, and internet offload to assist MPLS/Carrier Ethernet in maintaining QoS and providing low-cost scalability.

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Sovereign Networks - Self-governing, optimizing, controlled networks, using federated control.

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