An OSS knowledge plane for SDN

We propose a new objective for network research: to build a fundamentally different sort of network that can assemble itself given high level instructions, reassemble itself as requirements change, automatically discover when something goes wrong, an automatically fix a detected problem or explain why it cannot do so.
We further argue that to achieve this goal, it is not sufficient to improve incrementally on the techniques and algorithms we know today. Instead, we propose a new construct, the Knowledge Plane, a pervasive system within the network that builds and maintains high level models of what the network is supposed to do, in order to provide services and advice to other elements of the network. The knowledge plane is novel in its reliance on the tools of AI and cognitive systems. We argue that cognitive techniques, rather than traditional algorithmic approaches, are best suited to meeting the uncertainties and complexity of our objective
David Clarke
et al in “A Knowledge Plane for the Internet.”

We know that SDN is built around the concepts of the data plane and the control plane. SDN also proposes centralised knowledge of, and management of, the network. David Clarke and his contemporaries are proposing a machine-driven cognitive layer that could sit on top of SDN‘s control plane.

The other facet of the knowledge plane concept is that it becomes an evolving data-driven approach rather than the complex process-driven approach to getting tasks done.

Brian Levy & Barry Graham have authored a paper entitled, “TM FORUM FUTURE ARCHITECTURE STRATEGY,” which discusses the knowledge plane in more detail as well as providing interesting next-generation OSS/BSS architecture concepts.

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