David Isenberg – “The Rise of the Stupid Network”

Let’s remember for David Isenberg.

Many years ago he wrote “The rise of the stupid network” explaining why when we have dump terminals the network shall be smart e.g “intelligent” and why when we have “clever” terminals like PCs, smartphones and tablets the network should be “dump”.

The original paper could be found here and a newer version here.

Mr. Isenberg wrote his pappers in 1998 reading it is not that difficult to understand why the so called “Inteligent Network” actually failed and why only a small portions of NGN (Next Generation Networks) and IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) actually worked in real business cases.

It is interesting also to relate this article to more modern network architecture evolution tendencies such as Context Aware Networks and standartization steps such as SDN (Software Defined Networking)  and ABNO (Application based Network Operations). SDN and ABNO in particular are trying to simplify network control plane through the introduction of inteligent network controllers on L2 for SDN and on L3 for ABNO and thus make most of the devices in the stupid network even more stupid than they were.

The ability to have an inteligent controllers that could be controlled by external applications through  a simplified northbound will have an interesting impact on network qualities such as reliablility, simplicity and performance.

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