Thursday, November 29, 2007

Intuitive Networks

I am very familiar with the automated data center concepts promoted by the likes of IBM and HP under titles like Autonomic Computing and Lights Out Computing. But it wasn't until I got a copy of the in-house technical magazine from Bechtel Communications that I had heard about a similar idea in networking.

Jake MacLeod, the affable CTO over there, has an excellent article in the issue describing the concept in detail. He says an intuitive network includes:

* Base station "hotels" that house many types of transceivers
* Sophisticated multiple antenna subsystem
* Sensor networks to help determine when to reallocate resources
* Lotsa network management software

It could take decades to learn how to build really great intuitive networks, Jake suggests. Along the way, engineers have lots to learn about interconnected networks of networks that handle personal identity securely and handle location data across distributed system. There are also big challenges in distributed quality of service.

Sounds like the folks at Bechtel and a few other dozen companies have their work cut out for them.

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