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4WARD - Architecture and Design for the Future Internet (4WARD)
Start date: 01 Jan 2008, End date: 30 Jun 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Today's network architectures are stifling innovation, restricting it mostly to the application level while the need for structural change is increasingly evident. The absence of adequate facilities to design, optimize and interoperate new networks currently forces a convergence to an architecture that is suboptimal for many applications and that cannot support innovations within itself, the Internet.4WARD overcomes this impasse through a set of radical architectural approaches built on our strong mobile and wireless background.. We improve our ability to design inter-operable and complementary families of network architectures. We enable the co-existence of multiple networks on common platforms through carrier-grade virtualization for networking resources. We enhance the utility of networks by making them self-managing. We increase their robustness and efficiency by leveraging diversity. Finally we improve application support by a new information-centric paradigm in place of the old host-centric approach. These solutions will embrace the full range of technologies, from fibre backbones to wireless and sensor networks.The 4WARD results will allow new markets to appear, redefining business roles and creating new economic models. We will establish the Future Internet Forum as a leading standards body, enabling these new markets and opening them for old and new players alike, increasing opportunities for competition and cooperation and creating new products and services.These goals can only be achieved by gathering a strong, industry-led consortium of the leading operators, vendors, SME, and research organisations, with the determination, skills, and critical mass to create cross-industry consensus and to drive standardisation. The project is designed for multiple phases; the first one will establish the core concepts and technologies and last for two years. The planned effort of about 2200 person months corresponds to the strategic importance of this endeavour.
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