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Network Mediation: A Platform for the Future

  • November 2014
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 11 pages

Summary

Table of Contents

Introduction

There are many ways to describe the communications networking universe of 2014 and beyond. Unlike the universe we humans live in, which looks the same in all directions, the networking universe looks different depending on your point-of-view. To some, it is an application-aware universe. To others, it is services oriented toward customers or customer-driven. Still others see it as software-defined, or elastic, or even self-aware—well, maybe someday. The one manifestation that appears to no longer apply is the one that got the industry where it is today: a hardware-based, point-to-point, switched network architecture. And good riddance, too. There is no point in being sentimental about the old network. It was fun to build, and entertaining to watch as business leaders attempted to force the technological wonder into various contortions of revenue models. The network of old was loud and logical and physical. It was driven by an engineering process that behaved in accordance with concrete rules of optimization and performance, developed over generations. It was a network built by and seemingly for engineers.

Tomorrow’s network throws many of the old rules out the window. In addition to a fuller complement of IP technology, the transformation to that network is driven by many new technology innovations, including cloud computing and virtualization. However, at a deeper level, the business of networking is increasingly driven by data. Communications service providers (CSPs) have a choice between being driven by data or leveraging the data to drive the business in their desired direction.
After a slow start in which CSPs appeared hesitant about digging too deeply into their vast stores of data, due in part to the justifiable fear of running afoul with regulators, they have begun to seize the opportunities in data analytics. Stratecast believes that the biggest innovation of this new networking universe has been the ability to collect, analyze and apply rules to data, in timeframes narrow enough to render the exercise meaningful and beneficial. The better and faster that CSPs can accomplish this feat, the more valuable the data becomes.

On this note, the mind wants to turn toward the topic of Big Data, but Big Data is not the answer here. Although many instances of data analytics incorporate some Big Data concepts for specific longer-term analysis, this report is concerned with the real-time aspects of data collection and purpose-built analysis. And for that, the answer is mediation.

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