Michael Recchione, Cisco
Mike Nawrocki, ATIS


Evolution to Content Optimized Networks

ATIS’ Evolution to Content Optimized Networks (eCON) Initiative is a transformative effort that will establish an evolutionary path from today’s IP-based routing network to a future network that leverages the increasingly important role of content.

The work assesses developments such as Information Centric Networking (ICN) and related research, with the goal of more efficient content and information delivery based on content naming approaches. A clear vision and set of path alternatives will benefit the entire content ecosystem as the industry explores the best path forward for improved network efficiency, content delivery and user experience.

With the rapid growth of video and rich content services, network operators have already taken steps to increase network efficiency and move content closer to the edge of the network. At the same time, application providers are deploying their own solutions to optimize content delivery and improve user experience, including edge-caching, end-to-end encryption and proxies. While these network- and application-oriented techniques may meet near-term goals, they will not likely support the longer-term efficiency gains possible through radically enabling new approaches based on named content. ATIS’ transformational approach will support the future needs of content and information services from the application, network and user perspective.
In 2017, our work produced a report covering key findings related to early deployment opportunities for ICN-based solutions, representing a comprehensive assessment of market and technology drivers, early trials, standards and deployment scenarios.

Building on this effort, ATIS is now examining comparative value assessments of ICN-based solutions with respect to forward-looking IP-based approaches. Given the monumental challenges of introducing replacement networks, it is anticipated that ICN-based solutions will co-exist and, to some extent, leverage IP infrastructure as network planners fully evaluate the costs and benefits of ICN-based approaches. ATIS’ comparative assessments acknowledge this environment and evaluate key use case classes with respect to network evolution alternatives.