ITU-T’s Study Group 13 has consented new standards underpinning central elements of Future Networks (FNs); multiple virtual networks enabling a wide range of network services, and energy saving capabilities superior to those offered by traditional network technologies.
Future Networks (FNs) will provide revolutionary capabilities, facilities and services which will be difficult to support using existing network technologies. The number and range of network-based services is expected to explode in the near future, and a single network architecture will struggle to satisfy the requirements unique to each of these new services. Forming multiple physical networks will demand large outlays of capital for their installation, operation and maintenance. FNs thus need to realize diverse services through the creation of heterogenous network architectures overlaying a common physical network.
The new standards are Recommendation ITU-T Y.3011, “Framework of Network Virtualization for Future Networks”, and Recommendation ITU-T Y.3021, “Framework of Energy Saving for Future Networks.”
Recommendation Y.3011 provides a framework of network virtualization technology, a means allowing multiple virtual networks called Logically Isolated Network Partitions (LINPs) to coexist in a single physical network. Network Virtualization will create isolated, flexible networks supporting a broad range of network architectures and services. Their isolation will allow the satisfaction of services’ unique requirements, but also presents the opportunity to create experimental networks or test-beds where developers, providers and users can design and evaluate new services. The flexibility of these virtual networks is another key feature of Y.3011’s design, allowing the reconfiguration of networks to reflect the evolving characteristics of FN services and applications as they mature.
Environmental awareness is one of the fundamental objectives of FNs and energy-saving technologies form a crucial part of their development. Through their creation of network architectures for smart energy grids and ubiquitous sensor networks, FNs will do much to improve the energy efficiency of other non-ICT industry sectors. Their proliferation will however also increase the volume of energy demanded by FNs themselves. Y.3021 thus provides a framework to minimize the energy consumption of network facilities such as routers, switches and servers, as well as a method to manage the total energy consumption of FNs at all stages of their lifecycle.