Currently, networking technology is experiencing its third major wave of revolution. The first was the move from circuit-switched mode to packet-switched mode, and the second from hardwired to wireless mode. The third revolution, which we examine in this book, is the move from hardware to software mode. Let us briefly examine these three revolutions, before focusing more particularly on the third, which will be studied in detail in this book.
The first two revolutions
A circuit is a collection of hardware and software elements, allocated to two users – one at each end of the circuit. The resources of that circuit belong exclusively to those two users; nobody else can use them. In particular, this mode has been used in the context of the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Indeed, telephone voice communication is a continuous application for which circuits are very appropriate.
A major change in traffic patterns brought about the first great revolution in the world of networks, pertaining to asynchronous and non-uniform applications. The data transported for these applications make only very incomplete use of circuits, but are appropriate for packet-switched mode. When a message needs to be sent from a transmitter to a receiver, the data for transmission are grouped together in one or more packets, depending on the total size of the message. For a short message, a single packet may be sufficient; however, for a long message, several packets are needed. The packets then pass through intermediary transfer nodes between the transmitter and the receiver, and ultimately make their way to the end-point. The resources needed to handle the packets include memories, links between the nodes and sender/receiver. These resources are shared between all users. Packet-switched mode requires a physical architecture and protocols – i.e. rules – to achieve end-to-end communication. Many different architectural arrangements have been proposed, using protocol layers and associated algorithms. In the early days, each hardware manufacturer had their own architecture (e.g. SNA, DNA, DecNet, etc.). Then, the OSI model (Open System Interconnection) was introduced in an attempt to make all these different architectures mutually compatible. The failure of compatibility between hardware manufacturers, even with a common model, led to the re-adoption of one of the very first architectures introduced for packet-switched mode: TCP/IP (Transport Control Protocol/Internet Protocol).
Chapter 1. Virtualization
Chapter 2. SDN (Software-Defined Networking)
Chapter 3. SMART EDGES
Chapter 4. New-generation Protocols
Chapter 5. Mobile Cloud Networking and Mobility Control
Chapter 6. Wi-fi and 5G
Chapter 7. Security
Chapter 8. Concretization and Morphware Networks
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