Technologies to watch: 2012 and beyond

Tinniam V Ganesh
A series of trends are emerging in the telecom landscape, some of which will blaze a trail, but others are likely to vanish without a trace.
 
Factors that will ensure the endurance of certain technologies will ranging from pure necessity to a coolness factor, from innovativeness to cost. The following technologies are certain to be trailblazers in the years to come.
 
Software defined networking: SDNs are based on the pathbreaking paradigm of separating the control of a network flow from the flow of data. SDN is the result of pioneering effort by Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley and is based on the Open Flow Protocol. SDNs decouple the routing and switching of the data flows and moves the control of the flow to a separate network element namely, the Flow controller. This allows the flow of data packets through the network to be controlled in a programmatic manner.
 
The OpenFlow Protocol has three components – the flow controller, the OpenFlow switch and the flow table - and a secure connection between controller and switch. SDNs also include the ability to virtualize network resources. Virtualized network resources are known as a “network slice”. A slice can span several network elements including the network backbone, routers and hosts. The ability to control multiple traffic flows programmatically provides enormous flexibility and power in the hands of users.
 
Smart Grids: The energy industry is delicately poised for a complete transformation with the evolution of the smart grid concept. There is now an imminent need for an increased efficiency in power generation, transmission and distribution coupled with a reduction of energy losses. In this context many leading players in the energy industry are coming up with a connected end-to-end digital grid to smartly manage energy transmission and distribution.
 

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Commentary

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