30 April 2015

Network Coding in Software Defined Infrastructures

Have a look at this: it is reported that Aalborg University, MIT and Caltech have developed a technique boosting internet data speeds by up to 10 times, by making the nodes of a network much smarter and more adaptable.  This approach could also improve also the security level of the transmission.

The technique is mathematically-based and it is known as Network Coding and it adds adding intelligence at the node level: instead of making the classical store-and-forward, each node builds a set of linear equations, using both the numbers extracted from the content of the packets and a set of randomly generated coefficients. A linear equation forms a "coded packet" where the coefficients are stored inside the coded packet's header, and the unknown variables are the actual contents of the packets, considered as a number.

Network Coding is compatible with Software Defined Infrastructures (SDI) where network functions and services are virtualized and dynamically allocated onto physical resources, both centralized and distributed. So, also Network Coding could be virtualized and the intelligence could be at the node level from a logical perspective, but physically it could be executed in a cloud.

This idea of adding intelligence at node level resonate also self-organization, or autonomic capabilities. Complexity of future Software Defined Infrastructures, supporting the dynamic interactions of millions of software processes, will require self-organization capabilities in the orchestration, management and control functions (both centralized and distributed at the nodes level, obviously).

No need to say that today, Self Organizing Network (SON) is a well-known avenue of RT&D which is about intercepting SDN and NFV trajectories.

It’s mathematics again, the heart of Software Defined Infrastructures.