RTM SDN Project Wins Product of the Year for 2016
Just recently announced, open source Project Atrium, which is focused on the International Multimedia Telecommunication Consortium (IMTC) RTM SDN use-case specifications, just won Internet Telephony Magazine 2016 SDN Product of the Year Award. This is no surprise as I have been a massive advocate on enabling applications and networks to communicate machine-to-machine. To get an overview of RTM SDN for the cloud, please watch the IMTC online seminar that was released in the fall of 2016.
As the industry transitions to applications programming networks due to the emergence of cloud-based technologies like Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO), Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV), most of telecommunication is becoming programmable via software. Nothing demonstrates this better than what MEF is working on in their open initiative programs and recent release of an industry white paper for Network-as-a-Service (NaaS), which allows software orchestrators and an open set of APIs to program all kinds of network technologies (please see the diagram below).
NaaS is becoming a big deal because it basically uses machine automation to reduce Opex and generates new revenue opportunities by moving services from the enterprise to the service provider’s network (ex: security, WAN optimization, APM, etc). In 2016, I attended and spoke at many conferences worldwide and the big take away was that service providers worldwide are enabling their networks to become cloud-like in agility with hyperscale functionality. This is not a rip-and-replace model but more of a brownfield model with the insertion of orchestration and using SDN controllers as an abstraction layer between the new world and old world (please see diagram below).
So as increasingly Line of Business (LoB) applications move to the cloud, knowledge about how well these LoB applications are performing from user to the cloud has become the recent craze. Look at the recent Cisco $3.7B acquisition of AppDynamics for the sole reason of gaining visibility into application performance. Nicely stated Cisco’s head of its Internet of Things and applications efforts, Rowan Trollope, remarked of the deal: “The combination of Cisco and AppDynamics will allow us to provide end-to-end visibility and intelligence from the network through to the application; which, combined with security and scale, and help IT to drive a new level of business results.”
So if it is all about end-users and cloud applications, then doesn’t it make sense that these cloud applications program and communicate their requirements and experience of the network? As we move to a digital economy where applications are always communicating to the cloud, don’t we need a change in thinking in which applications, networks and clouds work better together? In my opinion the Project Atrium award is well deserved because it solves exactly the problem in which software and APIs harmonizes the performance of applications with the network (please see the diagram below). Look at my past article in which Cisco’s CTO David Ward stated the same vision.