IEEE Next Generation Service Overlay Networks (NSON)

SDN for service providers: It should be no surprise that industry analysts enjoy thinking about scenarios for the future, so I’ve been pondering a vision and roadmap for what could and should follow network architecture puzzle-pieces like federated controllers, generic switch-routers, Network Function Virtualization, virtualized appliances, and open orchestration (i.e., management). And how history has proven standards support (or lack thereof) can make or break a technology market (and of course that revenue thing, too). So when I saw a call for participation from our kindred spirits at the venerable IEEE, I had to shout-out my support for NGSON efforts. I’ll plan to update you on their progress in a future posting. Broader, related, and further along are standards for cloud portability and interoperability – P2301 and P2302 -

From their press release:

The Next Generation Service Overlay Networks (NGSON) Working Group (WG) announces a Call for Participation (CFP) to develop IEEE P1903 Standard for Content Delivery Protocols, Service Composition Protocols, and Self-organizing Management Protocols of NGSON.

NGSON is envisioned as an overlay network that is dedicated only to service specific communications among operators, service providers, content providers, and end-users. It is designed to provide a better, more efficient way of making these services and applications available to consumers by means of:

  • Context-aware (e.g., required Quality of Service (QoS) level, type of service such as real-time vs. data, nature of data stream such as I-frame vs. B-frame, and type of terminal such as TV monitor vs. Personal Digital Assistant)
  • Dynamically adaptive (e.g., using locally derived information to discover, organize, and maintain traffic flows in the network within a local area network)
  • Self-organizing networking capabilities (e.g., developing network structures based on the needs of the customers and the capabilities of existing network structures) over Internet Protocol (IP)-based networks

The IEEE P1903 standard describes a framework of Internet Protocol (IP)-based service overlay networks and specifies context-aware, dynamically adaptive, and self-organizing networking capabilities, including advanced routing and forwarding schemes that are independent of underlying transport networks. A number of equipment vendors, telecom operators, and research organizations have been working on this project to standardize various aspects under IEEE P1903.

The IEEE P1903 NGSON WG is currently seeking new members. Participation is open to entities or individuals interested in becoming a member of the working group and continuing the development of the standard.


If you are interested in joining the IEEE P1903 NGSON WG:

- create an email (subject line: IEEE P1903 WG participation)
- include your name, organization, email, & phone number
- and submit to:

Mehmet Ulema
IEEE P1903 Working Group Chair


Topics: IT Infrastructure Networking