Huawei envisages network architecture driven by applications
Developed in the Future Network Theory Lab of Huawei’s 2012 Laboratories, the ADN will prioritize network applications and service demands in network design and evolution, unlike traditional approaches that focus on resource utilization and optimizing network operations. Huawei claims to be the first company to propose the idea that networks should put applications first, and believes this concept will radically change how networks, both fixed and wireless, will be designed and constructed in the future.
Huawei Fellow Dr. Wen Tong said: "Our innovative ADN architecture vision puts applications at the network’s core to deliver significant efficiency gains for network applications. Unlike traditional network architectures, ADNs will support application abstraction, network reorganization, global and local coordination of network resources, and application decoupling by service layering. With these advantages, ADN is poised to meet a variety of future application demands, for example, in 5G networks."
What makes ADN different is its top-layer network architecture design. It does not simply map several applications to a physical network, which serves as a pipe with limited functionality. Instead, ADNs will enable networks that are customizable from end-to-end depending on application demands to deliver a superior user experience.
With its flexible architecture for hierarchal management, ADNs will dynamically adapt to network changes that follow the power law effect. Huawei has proved theoretically that an ADN architecture can create more stable networks, accommodate future application-led change demands, and cope better with the impact of other uncertainties. In addition, ADN will transform network operation models, enabling a fundamental shift in focus from network-led KPIs to service experience-led KPIs, allowing carriers to improve network revenue streams.
ADN will support 5G network slicing and will bolster both near and long-term network evolution. ADNs will differ from existing NFV and SDN concepts, but will integrate NFV and SDN technologies that have not yet delivered any economic benefits into a comprehensive network architecture that focuses on user experience. While ADN concerns network architecture, NFV is a supporting technology used for implementation, and SDN relates to engineering.