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Generalized Virtual Networking: an enabler for Service Centric Networking and Network Function Virtualization

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In this paper we introduce the Generalized Virtual Networking (GVN) concept. GVN provides a framework to influence the routing of packets based on service level information that is carried in the packets. It is based on a protocol header inserted between the Network and Transport layers, therefore it can be seen as a layer 3.5 solution. Technically, GVN is proposed as a new transport layer protocol in the TCP/IP protocol suite. An IP router that is not GVN capable will simply process the IP destination address as usual. Similar concepts have been proposed in other works, and referred to as Service Oriented Networking, Service Centric Networking, Application Delivery Networking, but they are now generalized in the proposed GVN framework. In this respect, the GVN header is a generic container that can be adapted to serve the needs of arbitrary service level routing solutions. The GVN header can be managed by GVN capable end-hosts and applications or can be pushed/popped at the edge of a GVN capable network (like a VLAN tag). In this position paper, we show that Generalized Virtual Networking is a powerful enabler for SCN (Service Centric Networking) and NFV (Network Function Virtualization) and how it couples with the SDN (Software Defined Networking) paradigm.


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