Infranet: A Corporate-Quality Internet
Historically, implementing private corporate networks has addressed many of the challenges of security, performance, and change management. However, private corporate networks are not ubiquitous and far from cheap. Pradeep Sindhu (founder and co-chairman of Juniper Networks) says, "Unfortunately, today's corporate networks are engineered for one network, one application. That uniqueness drives up cost and slows the ability for customers to take advantage of the benefits of global networking."
Sindhu is driving a networking industry initiative to address this issue. The fundamental thesis is that conventional private or public networking approaches cannot solve today's challenges. The solution is neither a public Internet nor a private network infrastructure; it is the best of both. The solution Sindhu proposes is an infranet. An infranet is a move away from closed private networks and proprietary solutions to selectively open networks and industry collaboration. It is composed of three fundamental building blocks. The first, called user request, is an expected experience driven by the user's application. It enables users to automatically get the experience they require based on the application they are using. In the infranet, the application dynamically requests the level of security, quality, and bandwidth it requires from the network.
The second building block is predictability throughout the network: Assured delivery provides a network foundation to ensure that services are delivered throughout the network with the specifications required by the user request. This predictable experience is critical for enabling any real-time communications, including Web conferencing, camera phones, collaboration, and other applications.
Finally, an infranet requires a realistic implementation for next-generation mass-market communication: Carrier connections are required to make global services economically viable. Just as the industry has developed successful carrier connections for voice and mobile networks, the same must be done on the public network so new services are not gated by each carrier's global expansion.