Disaggregation has been considered as the main concept of next-generation open network architecture. Recent trends of softwaredefined network (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) have performed successfully in bringing up open and interoperable elements into existing closed-architecture network. However, to reach the ultimate goal of “open” network, the importance of hardware should not be overlooked and in fact, the processor design and the hardware/middleware API libraries play a significant role in the transition to total open network. This paper will discuss the challenges faced in today’s network structure and how the hardware will play a critical role to complement the open software.
Today’s data centers are facing unprecedented traffic loads due to the widespread of mobile Internet devices and cloud-based services. In a closed network infrastructure, operators have to implement additional equipments to fulfill the required layers of networking technologies. During the process, there will be codes customized for the added hardware integration and the codes cannot be shared. Obviously, this legacy pipeline design introduces higher level of complexity for maintenance when the infrastructure is expanded by proprietary equipments.