Skip to Main Content
The crucial role that networking plays in Cloud computing calls for a holistic vision that allows combined control, management, and optimization of both networking and computing resources in a Cloud environment, which leads to a convergence of networking and Cloud computing. Network virtualization is being adopted in both telecommunications and the Internet as a key attribute for the next generation networking. Virtualization, as a potential enabler of profound changes in both communications and computing domains, is expected to bridge the gap between these two fields. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), when applied in network virtualization, enables a Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) paradigm that may greatly facilitate the convergence of networking and Cloud computing. Recently the application of SOA in network virtualization has attracted extensive interest from both academia and industry. Although numerous relevant research works have been published, they are currently scattered across multiple fields in the literature, including telecommunications, computer networking, Web services, and Cloud computing. In this article we present a comprehensive survey on the latest developments in service-oriented network virtualization for supporting Cloud computing, particularly from a perspective of network and Cloud convergence through NaaS. Specifically, we first introduce the SOA principle and review recent research progress on applying SOA to support network virtualization in both telecommunications and the Internet. Then we present a framework of network-Cloud convergence based on service-oriented network virtualization and give a survey on key technologies for realizing NaaS, mainly focusing on state of the art of network service description, discovery, and composition. We also discuss the challenges brought in by network-Cloud convergence to these technologies and research opportunities available in these areas, with a hope to arouse the research community's interest - n this emerging interdisciplinary field.