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Computing-Aware Networking (CAN)

Document Type Approved BOF request
Title Computing-Aware Networking (CAN)
Last updated 2022-02-10
State Approved
Editor Peng Liu
Responsible leadership John Scudder
Send notices to (None)

Name: Computing-Aware Networking (CAN)


Service providers are exploring edge computing to achieve better response times, control over data, and carbon energy savings by moving computing services towards the edge of the network in 5G MEC (Multi-access Edge Computing), virtualized central offices, and other scenarios. From an operator’s perspective, edge computing changes the architecture of their networks, but provides them with the ability to offer more flexible and cost-effective services.

Providing services by sharing computing resources located at multiple edges is an emerging concept that is becoming more useful for computationally intensive tasks. Ideally, services would be computationally balanced using service-specific metrics instead of simply dispatching the service in a static way (e.g., to the geographically closest edge), since that might cause unbalanced usage of computing resources at edges which can further degrade user experience and system utilization contrary to the objective of edge computing. We have named this kind of network with dynamic sharing of edge compute resources “Computing-Aware Networking” (CAN), though other names would be acceptable.

Many drafts have been proposed (see list below) to describe the problem statement, use cases, requirements, and even to start work on solutions: these ideas are beginning to solidify, and it is important for the IETF to become involved before they have advanced too far. Furthermore, three side meetings related to this topic have been organized at past IETF meetings [].
The objective of the BOF is to increase awareness on this topic and increase participation so that the existing contributions can be organized into a coherent effort to address specific use cases. This work may then result in an analysis of which protocols/extensions are required to discover, advertise the location and status of, dynamically share, and load-balance between services using computation resources and those resources themselves.

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