IEEE NetSoft, the premier International Conference on Network Softwarization, addresses the advanced research challenges and opportunities raised by the overall transformation trend of network “softwarization”, which has been revolutionizing the networking field and has accelerated its convergence with adjacent industries.
Network Softwarization refers to the transition of traditional network infrastructure and functionalities, provided via hardware appliances developed by equipment and service vendors, to new ones that have been propelled over the last 16 years by the maturity of widespread technologies such as network function virtualization, software-defined networking, and service function chaining. It is radically aimed at the way communication, compute and service support infrastructures are designed and operated, allowing unprecedented levels of abstraction, disaggregation, operation, integration, and programmability of networking applications. Accordingly, it is enabling efficient, rapid, and innovative service creation and deployment in all segments of multi-domain and cross-domain networking and servicing (i.e., far-to-premise-edge, wire and wireless access, transport, core and metaverse for terrestrial and space infrastructures and services).
In particular, the ability to program, manage and operate network and service infrastructures more freely makes it possible to reinvent network and cloud architectures, customize services, accelerate service deployment, and facilitate greater operational efficiencies with guarantees.
As a result, new architectures, frameworks, and models are continuously emerging that promise networks and services to provide even greater flexibility, reliability, adaptability, and efficiency. It includes moving from software-defined infrastructures towards an open continuum edge-to-network precision and secure infrastructure, from fully integrated/ single provider networks open APIs towards open networking using open source, from continuous deployment towards full automation and autonomicity, from service function chaining towards native network slicing, from optimization techniques towards AI-based decisions, from distinct management functions towards full dynamic orchestration and governance, from separate service infrastructures into unified native compute-connectivity continuum service support infrastructures. They all head beyond the Internet's inter-networking capabilities and further convergence between internetworking and IP layer re-engineering, Network 2030, 5G/6G, IT infrastructure, and industry verticals.
The International Conference on Network Softwarization, aka NetSoft, was launched as an outcome of the SDN Initiative that was running in 2014-2017 under the Future Directions Committee of IEEE. The inaugural event took place in April 2015 in London, UK. Since then, NetSoft has established itself as a well-recognized event. Past events and venues have been as follows:
- IEEE NetSoft 2023, 19 –23 June 2023,Madrid, Spain
- IEEE NetSoft 2022, 27 June – 1 July 2022, Hybrid, Milan, Italy
- IEEE NetSoft 2021, 28 June – 2 July 2021, Virtual, Tokyo, Japan
- IEEE NetSoft 2020, 29 June – 3 July 2020, Ghent, Belgium
- IEEE NetSoft 2019, 24 –28 June 2019, Paris, France
- IEEE NetSoft 2018, 25 – 29 June 2018, Montréal, Canada
- IEEE NetSoft 2017, 3 –7 July 2017, Bologna, Italy
- IEEE NetSoft 2016, 6 – 10 June 2016, Seoul, Korea
- IEEE NetSoft 2015, 13 – 17 April 2015, London, UK
In 2024, NetSoft is hosted in Saint Louis, MO, USA, and is organized around the theme Softwarized Networks in the Age of Generative AI. This theme recognizes the fact that Network Softwarization as a key enabler for the design and management of Future Networks at various levels from basic architecture to service creation and deployment.