@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Dana Gardner, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz

Blog Feed Post

Will the Concept of Next Generation of Service Composition Networks Revolutionize Telco Market? (Disponible en Español)

NGSON: An Interesting Standardization Effort

When user generated content began to populate the Internet, and to generate the revolution of content related services, researches understood that user generated services could be the next step to continue such service evolution. Over the last decade standardization efforts have emerge to provide answers and architectural models; efforts like TMF SDF, OMA OSE, ATIS SON, ITU NGN SIDE, OPUCE, SOA and SPICE, can be considered as the more relevant. Recently the IEEE WG P1903 was created to develop the concept of NGSON (Next Generation of Service Overlay Networks), a previous concept, SON (Service Overlay Network), was formulated with the intention to integrate service aware1 technologies created by SOA and delivered over multiple networks using SDP, but the concept lacked some critical features like continuity of the service over multiple networks, or the presentation of content over different devices, considering multiple and diverse contexts of environments. NGSON promises that these features are going to be included, so is natural to think that this new architectural model can revolutionize the way that today the industry develops and delivers the service over Telecommunications networks, this concept can be conceived as a big umbrella that not only integrates service aware models but also will allow the Telcos through the use of a powerful network scheme to provide the first truly pervasive service. The convergence of services, models and technologies in Telecommunications has been well criticized in the past, is obvious that adoption of convergence models hasn’t been massive or enthusiastic; can this new concept become the answer for Telcos seeking to keep services converging over their roof?


NGSON Brings To the Table…

10-9-12 image.jpg

Image courtesy of Paola Buelvas ([email protected])

This concept can be thought as extra layer between the service and the network that today Telcos use to deliver service. What really calls the attention is that it allows the service provider to extend beyond its own network infrastructure to reach different networks, contents and even users. NGSON also includes three advance functionalities; Context Awareness, Dynamic Adaptation and Self-Organization. Context Awareness is a key tool for the service realization, it allows the network to evaluate the situational context of the user in multiple dimensions these being: the service, the user, the device and the network. The Dynamic Adaptation will allow the service to transcend beyond networks and devices (Total mobility) ensuring continuity. Self-Organization ensures that internal resources configuration of this new layer can adapt autonomously imitating the proved principle of resilience from the Internet. But what can you do with it? This architectural concept is divided in several layers and functions, investigation efforts and proof of concepts so far have focused on: User created service; the user choses from a list of services, those he wishes to be combined and delivered without having deep SW or telecommunication knowledge. As an option to provide temporal content storage and optimization functions providing core traffic offloading capabilities through its specialized layer that interfaces with the traditional transport networks. It also has been conceived as an option to aggregate Cloud computational resources. Finally, what I consider the one that generates more expectative is the possibility to provide a truly pervasive service; your identity, applications, contacts and preferences everywhere, in all your devices and without interruption.


The Technical Challenges Today


This effort is just starting and a lot remain to be done, given the current state of the art, the following challenges and work ahead needs to be considered to count with a complete technical proposal:


  1. Context Awareness feature must be used for traffic optimization delivery, P2P concepts can be integrated to optimize traffic movement through the network.
  2. The protocols to be executed in the different interfaces still unknown, but have to be compatible with the current service technologies in place.
  3. The layer that interfaces with the current Telco networks called the Delivery control plane hasn’t been completely developed; several issues and complexity definitions remain to be known.
  4. QoS transparently support is required throughout the different interfaces and layers of the model, needless to say how challenging this might be in some networks.
  5. Easy integration with Telco networks; the interconnection not only has to be possible, but has to be simple and very fast to deploy.


The Problems of the Past Could be Problems of Today


The industry has tried through different approaches to regain the user attention lost against the Internet content providers, the barriers of adoption faced by those different approaches are well known, let me summarize those barriers that I can recognize for NGSON and contrast it against its objectives and architecture definition:


  1. Failure to attract critical mass of applications developers for the Telecom service: The NGSON through its Service control layer that includes discovery, integration composition and routing seem to address this issue, but again without knowing the complexity definitions and compatibility with existing service platforms it’s difficult to forecast the success.
  2. Complexity of the model or service architecture: there are several dimensions of complexity to consider; for the model itself, for application developers, for integration with the existent service technologies, complexity to commercialize the model and to integrate it to the network of Telcos. Although the model seems to be realizable and simple enough at a high level to provide planning for growing and maintenance activities, the current information makes it hard to conclude if complexity will ruin the party.
  3. Compatibility: The dimensions to be compatible with are; current content providers and service platforms. Control protocols and signaling schemes both for user content delivery and control of resources and coordination among functional entities. Within current transport networks, again the communication protocols play a key role; it must also consider the negotiation of capabilities and resources for all possible transport networks. For this consideration NGSON implements in a separate way, a control plane for the service, another plane for unified signaling control and a different one for control of the media bearers, this is definitely one of the strongest points of this functional architecture.
  4. Time to market: When talking about adoption of new network infrastructure for service delivery (e.g WCDMA or LTE) is quite understandable that Telcos take their time, and even desirable that standardization bodies also pace their work. But when talking about the service creation infrastructure, time is a critical factor, if there isn’t a quick path of release and availability, the whole concept can be invalidated by a new service paradigm developed by industries less bound by convergence and complexity. NGSON doesn’t count with any advantages here.
  5. Services/Applications/Hooks: It has been proved that Telcos normally do not “nailed it”, when it comes to service creation, so this time around collaborative efforts must be convened, Internet innovators, young developers, content giants and groups of users must be called to make part of the service layer planning department. As usual, it seems very hard to find real collaborative efforts for NGSON, and no initiative is well known and strong enough to be taken into account for existing service aware technologies.


One of the main objectives of NGSON is to beneficiate, Content providers, Service Providers and users, the problem is that there seems to be a gap between the concept development and the communication of value to the possible key stakeholders, someone in the industry should bridge this gap.


What should the Industry do  to Ensure Success?


Considering the huge potential this concept holds to provide the jump towards a new type of service for Telecommunication companies, and as a fan of technology, a professional of the industry and as a plain user, in my opinion this should the action plan for the industry:


  • Take full advantage of advance features, this means in the short term, integrating under the technical functional concepts of EPC 4G, the various access technologies available, considering that one access technology would not reach as many users as all of them combined.
  • Cannot be timid when it comes to displaying the capabilities of the architecture, in other words Telcos must give away the power of service creation to those who can execute it to the best this concept can provide.
  • Industry must take the risk, different economy indicators are not favorable for Telcos anymore, ARPU continue to decline, and network usage spikes beyond reasonable network growing, It’s time!
  • I’m not sure if everyone is convinced about services created by the user, but if the industry really believes that this could be the evolution path of the service, we need to start generating information about it, to explain it in a different way, the commercial conditions must be properly set.


I see this concept as an interesting opportunity that will provide the Telcos enough arguments for the first time to give away the control of service offering, ensuring economic survival and at the same time evolving towards the next phase of services.


Final Remarks

So rephrasing the question that frames this blog: Would the new concept of service creation really revolutionize the industry? To the best of my understanding the NGSON is a well-conceived technical concept that overcomes several flaws of early approximations, has all the necessary components to be innovative and to become successful.


But, the cold truth is that still a lot of work to be done, various barriers faced by unified frameworks in the past still present today, industry leaders remain distant to the need of a new approach to the service, in other words innovators roles that could take us the next level remain vacant. In conclusion is a very interesting concept with huge potential, which has to overcome several non-trivial challenges but still have some time to accomplish its objective. As a user and fan of Telecommunications I really would like to see the realization of the service as promised by this interesting effort.


For more, follow me, @jomaguo


Read this post in Spanish


  1. The concept of service awareness is a paradigm that conceives the service composition through high level functional blocks that abstract the complexity of lower transport and delivery layers


Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Deborah Strickland

The articles presented here are blog posts from members of our Service Provider Mobility community. Deborah Strickland is a Web and Social Media Program Manager at Cisco. Follow us on Twitter @CiscoSPMobility.

@CloudExpo Stories
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of So...
SYS-CON Events announced today that StarNet Communications will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. StarNet Communications’ FastX is the industry first cloud-based remote X Windows emulator. Using standard Web browsers (FireFox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) users from around the world gain highly secure access to applications and data hosted on Linux-based servers in a central data center. ...
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, the leading provider of modern development tools and best practices for Continuous Integration on OpenVMS, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware products and development tools that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Masters Technologies, a leader in Network Visibility and Uptime Solutions, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Masters Technologies is a leading vendor in the network monitoring and high speed networking markets. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Interface Masters' expertise lies in Gigabit, 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Eth...
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and microservices. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your conta...
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue an...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here