What’s the next digital frontier? It’s Digital Cohesion, a future in which applications we use often self-assemble to deliver compelling mega services that enhance our lives. Today, if I need a ride to the airport I might order a ride on Uber. Or if I want dinner delivered to my home I might order a meal through doordash. In doing so, I am using applications manually. In the future, these services will act autonomously, and deploy based on my situation, need, and location, as well as my history and feedback from other services or devices I’ve used. I will no longer need to call such services, as they will automatically appear and serve when needed.
The time of SDN/NFV hype is past. Sure, you will still come across exaggerated claims that the cure to all your networking challenges is just a click away but the nature of the conversation has fundamentally changed. It's now grounded in fact; no longer does it reside in that other virtual world - namely PowerPoint. It's now a regular occurrence to hear of a service provider publishing news of a virtualisation strategy or an agreement to embark on a trial.
Chaos is often the friend of store owners - it generates hype, a frenzy, free publicity, all of which can lead to more sales. And what's more, their customers are often willing to put up with this inconvenience if they percieve they get a better deal. But that doesn't translate to networks. Customers want assured access and reliable services whilst service providers want to manage demand in an orderly way. In this blog I contrast the chaos of Black Friday with the order desired by network providers and look at an approach to adopting virtualisation as a means of restoring order.