New 'open standards-based forum' to focus on business of IP

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Juniper's Infranet Initiative has been dissolved, replaced by another council staffed and funded by its members, including Cisco and Alcatel, that seeks to develop a business-friendly IP service infrastructure.

This "open standards-based forum " will incorporate the work of Juniper's Infranet Initiative Council (IIC) and include Juniper itself. It will not, however, be operated and marketed by Juniper, a situation that kept Cisco on the sidelines and led to a perception that the IIC was formed more for Juniper's marketing purposes than for industrywide progress.

The IIC was formed a year ago. According to a release issued at this week's Supercomm 2005 conference by Juniper, Cisco and Alcatel, The IIC voted on June 2 to transition its activities to the new member-funded forum. The members intend for this new forum to be independently hosted by the secretariat of a major standards body and be subject to that standards body's rules.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), ATIS, ETSI, and AMS are currently under consideration. An announcement regarding hosting secretariat selection, and the new name, is expected later following the election of the board and adoption of the terms that will apply to the effort, according to the release.      

The forum says it will focus on the "business of IP" and coordinate efforts to develop the architecture for an IP infrastructure able to support service provider and network user business/service models. The forum will have three primary goals:         

* Architecting the Internet to be a service of an overall IP infrastructure, rather than the Internet itself being the infrastructure. "In this sense, the permissive, best effort Internet service is presented as a 'tunnel,' alongside other tunnels presenting the services of more predictable, trusted network environments," the forum release states.

* Providing for any of the services of a network operators' IP infrastructure to be federated, or interconnected, with other operators according to "clearly defined business relationships," and incorporating mechanisms for revenue settlement and SLA accountability.

* Ensuring that users of the IP infrastructure can access only the presented services, and not the underlying infrastructure itself, "to heighten reliability and integrity of the overall federated system of networks."

In addition to Juniper, IIC members participating include BT, China Unicom, Ericsson, France Telecom, HP, Korea Telecom, Level 3, Lucent, Qwest, Siemens, Telenor, Tellabs and Telstra.  Alcatel and Cisco have independently agreed to join the forum.

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