CTO Forum Offers Info on Service Blending, Managing IP Networks

Tomorrows CTO Technology Forum focusing on the latest technological innovations in service integration and network architectures offers a wealth of speakers and information on a variety of issues. Workshop leader David Malfara, president and CEO of Remi Communications, will guide you through a slate of speakers who will discuss such hot topics as IMS, service blending and IP network management. The event consists of three panels followed by a CTO and vendor roundtable discussion.

The first panel, called VoIP/IMS Interconnects & The New Business Models They Enable, features Chris Mairs, CTO and senior vice president of business development at MetaSwitch, and Sridhar Ramachandran, CTO of NexTone Communications.

The issue about IMS [is] how does it actually allow you to deliver revenue-generating services, says Mairs, who also will participate on the CTO forum roundtable. IMS can make more applications applicable across mobile and wireline networks, lowering capex and opex for service providers and delivering new or new strains of services, he says. Still, Mairs adds, questions about IMS remain. For example, he says, IMS in its current form requires IPv6 on wireless, but the wireline network still uses IPv4. How that will resolve itself remains to be seen.

Theres also the question of how session border control fits in with IMS, he adds. If a service provider wants to access service on a server in another carriers network, IMS does not address the session border control that would enable that, he adds, noting that MetaSwitch is developing session border controller capability.

NexTones Ramachandran, however, says that part of IMS is about extending service providers reach and capabilities through interconnecting with other service provider networks. For example, IMS could enable a service provider to outsource applications or access infrastructure from another service provider.

Tying in to the IMS theme, the second panel is called Service Interaction Management and Blending in Next-Generation Network Architectures. Speakers include Kristin Kocan, technical manager for Lucent Technologies Converged Core Solutions, and Nathan Nelson, CTO of Vero Systems Inc.

Kocan notes that the communications industry is focused increasingly on bringing a host of voice, video and data services and the network itself to end users through any device and at whatever location they desire.

Lucent supports these new networks and supports IMS, which is 3GPP standard, she says. Its a standardized architecture and a roadway that can speed the service providers toward convergence and can give them the opportunity to offer this menu of all these services. You can think of all these services and applications as kind of floating above the network, and you kind of use the network to grab these applications and mix and match them, and you can add to that a collection of applications and you can swap out applications, says Kocan.

Service providers can facilitate the interaction between various applications on their network and deliver enriched user experiences by employing what Kocan refers to as a service broker, which is a special-purpose element whose job is combining services or blending services.

Managing the Next-Generation IP Network: Keys to Achieving Efficiency and Scalability is the third panel of the CTO Technology Forum and includes Gary Hale, vice president of global operations at Global Internetworking, as well as Scott Beaudoin, chief technologist with WilTel Communications.

Hales talk will cover the key methodologies needed to manage effectively an IP network capable of supporting voice, multimedia and other applications. He will discuss key issues such as how to balance performance requirements and desired network architecture against budget; the pros and cons of public IP versus private IP; how to assess your own network management capabilities; and how to ensure that network provider vulnerability is planned for.

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