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Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is considered a prominent model for IP based service delivery. As grid and cloud computing have become a stringent demand for today's Internet services, IaaS is required for providing services, particularly "private cloud," regardless of physical infrastructure locations. However, enabling IaaS on traditional Internet Service Provider (ISP) network infrastructures is challenging because IaaS requires a high abstraction level of network architectures, protocols, and devices. Network control plane architecture plays therefore an essential role in this transition, particularly with respect to new requirements of scalability, reliability, and flexibility. In this article we review the evolutionary trend of network element control planes from monolithic to distributed architectures according to network growth, and then present a new virtualization oriented architecture that allows infrastructure providers and service providers to achieve service delivery independently and transparently to end users based on virtualized network control planes. As a result, current ISP infrastructures will be able to support new services, such as heavy resource consuming data center applications. We also show how to use network virtualization for providing cloud computing and data center services in a flexible manner on the nationwide CANARIE network infrastructure.
Date of Publication: January 2013