17 July 2016

"Post K": will Supercomputers become the future Telecoms infrastructures ?

Post K is an amazing project from the Japan government aimed at developing an even more powerful supercomputer (than the current K) for providing several applications and services to government, academia and industry... 

It looks like paving the way towards a medium-long term objective of creating an ecosystem around super-computing facilities: have  a look at this clip: http://www.aics.riken.jp/fs2020p/en/

Imaging now extending/distributing these super-computing facilities from a centralised Data Centre to multiple sites on a wide area (e.g. a Country), through low latency WAN links (e.g., 5G).

Keeping in mind that AT&T is arguing that they will transform the Central Offices (4-5 k) in Data Centres, then a distributed country-wide super-computer is likely to become the next Telecommunication infrastructure.

Eventually this super-Telecommunication infrastructure will be able to execute any sort of A.I. and Machine Learning services and applications ("game changer"), not only for the creating new services but also for its automated operations.

Back to  Project KFujitsu said that it will use ARM-based processors to build it...and Japan's SoftBank to buy the technology company ARM for $32 billion (24.11 billion pounds) in cash! 


14 July 2016

Towards 5G Software-Defined Ecosystems

IEEE SDN has just released a second white paper entitled "Towards 5G Software-Defined Ecosystems".

Abstract — Techno-economic drivers are creating the conditions for a radical change of paradigm in the design and operation of future telecommunications infrastructures. In fact, SDN, NFV, Cloud and Edge-Fog Computing are converging together into a single systemic transformation termed “Softwarization” that will find concrete exploitations in 5G systems. The IEEE SDN Initiative1 has elaborated a vision, an evolutionary path and some techno-economic scenarios of this transformation: specifically, the major technical challenges, business sustainability and policy issues have been investigated. This white paper presents: 1) an overview on the main techno-economic drivers steering the “Softwarization” of telecommunications; 2) an introduction to the Open Mobile Edge Cloud vision (covered in a companion white paper); 3) the main technical challenges in terms of operations, security and policy; 4) an analysis of the potential role of open source software; 5) some use case proposals for proof-of-concepts; and 6) a short description of the main socio-economic impacts being produced by “Softwarization”. Along these directions, IEEE SDN is also developing of an open catalogue of software platforms, toolkits, and functionalities aiming at a step-by-step development and aggregation of test-beds/field-trials on SDNNFV-5G. This will prepare the ground for developing new ICT ecosystems, thereby improving the quality of life and facilitating the development of the new digital economy.

Please download it from the IEEE SDN portal

Comments and contributions are most welcome !

04 July 2016

The Manifesto fo the Knowledge-based Economy

An economic epoch is defined by three factors,

The production systems and the tools these systems are employing
The means of communication and the means for information creation
The type of energy (power) systems engaged.

In each epoch there is a certain relationship and interdependence between these three factors. So far in human history, each of these factors was built over a certain technology and there was no relation between the technologies these three factors were exploiting. In striking contrast, the characteristic of the knowledge-based economy we have entered, as a clearly identifiable new economic epoch, is the dominant role of information and communications systems which are emerging as the common technological base  all these three factors. have This presupposes the digitization and the standardization of all human activities and of all processes in their lives. As the matter of fact, the digitization and standardization allow the convergence of the three factors into an entirely novel framework. Moreover, digitization allows biotechnology to emerge, for the first time, as the fourth factor in the definition of an economic epoch.

The distinctive feature of the knowledge-based economic activity is that it provides a new framework for planning, organizing and coordinating resources (human or material) to an unprecedented scale, while removing all barriers associated with location, distance and skills: we are entering the era where all technology-related restrictions which confine humans to implement their social functions at certain locations only, are being removed. This opens up the opportunity to select, mobilize and utilize the most diverse parameters and assets needed to complete a particular task regardless of their actual physical location and regardless of the nature of these tasks. In this way, social functions, like the deployment of new production tool systems in an industrial complex, the handling of agricultural robots in the fields, the employment of integrated health-care systems, the operation and control of distributed and renewable energy systems, scientific research, education, recreation and cultural development, etc will be rooted back to the same standardized processes.

We acknowledge that the knowledge capital, which knows no geographical boundaries, is an indestructible entity in striking contrast with its first or second industrial-wave counterparts that were often subjected to dissipation. Moreover, unlike physical resources, the knowledge capital is not exhaustible; it can be almost instantly transferred anywhere and can be employed or used simultaneously from an unrestricted number of human users or machines. In parallel, this new era brings its own challenges: the coordination of diverse and complex operations becomes an extremely challenging and critical task. The knowledge-based economy is ushering a revolutionary wealth system but it also includes many unchartered directions, the implications of which are not fully understood and accounted for in all respects at this moment, while we are not fully prepared for the many alternative outcomes.

We have passed the point where national economies are integrated to regional ones transforming the previously isolated markets into vast market clusters. Today, regions within a single nation, countries, unions and even whole continents are immensely and inextricably linked creating new opportunities while the economic interests are shifted to new directions. In this framework, global economy is characterized from interdependency and cooperation on one hand and from competition on the other.

This evolution has created global reach enterprises that may leverage the features of the knowledge-based economy to become completely location-independent, capitalizing on an automated connectivity to and between any process, person or thing; moreover, they are designated from their ability to scale to meet any demand. This ability, to scale to worldwide demand but still be able to provide for the delivery of services or goods locally, is something that requires a certain organizational and technological framework. On the organizational front, global alliances or consortia are formed to establish global reach with ubiquitous local access in each geographic market. Each of these alliances will likely be anchored to one or more large global industry leaders or service providers. In such a dynamic world, the enterprises with the most automated operations and the alliances with optimized global-local reach operations are those that will benefit the most and will be able to leverage their dynamic agility to win in the marketplace.

However, the organizational framework alone is not sufficient to safeguard better, lower-cost, value-added digitalization and service creation. A common, standardized operating platform, overcoming the current picture of a plethora of over-fragmented and single-purpose technologies, is a necessity that will bring into life the potential of a knowledge-based economy matching the ability of the over-the-top enterprises to coordinate on both “global” and “local” scale.

This is the point where the next generation infrastructures is expected to play a central role.

by Alexandros Stavdas