This book shines a beam of light towards software-centric networks and their emerging service environments. The authors examine the road ahead for connectivity, for both human and ‘things’, considering the rapid changes that have already shaken the industry. Whether we are witnessing technology consolidation or crucial transformation, one thing is clear – the future communication environment will be fundamentally different from what we experience today.
The book analyses major catalytic shifts that are shaping the communications world through Softwarization, virtualization, and Cloud Computing. It guides the reader through a maze of possible architectural choices, driven by discriminating, maybe conflicting business considerations. In this vision, software assumes a definitive role, where ICT capabilities continue to generate ever-smarter environments.
The new ICT ecosystems would enable entirely new paradigm, where applications are backed up by shared networking facilities, instead of networks that support their own applications. The growing user awareness is a key driver towards this paradigm, and this will accelerate the softwarization process.
Softwarization disrupts the current status quo at equipment level, development, network installation, network management, operations and business, and radically changes the value chain and the involved stakeholders. The dilemma is between a ‘slow burn’ traditional step-by-step approach, and the bold transformation of the whole infrastructure, while reconsidering adoption of new business roles. This book is essential reading for those seeking to build such communication networks that support independent agile and smart applications and provide real benefits to users, in all walks of life.