Clearly, whether revolutionary/clean-slate approaches or evolutionary approaches should be followed when designing Future Multi-Service Self-Managing Networks, some holistic Reference Models on how to design autonomic/self-managing features within node and network architectures are required. Why Reference models?: (1) to guide both approaches towards further architectural refinements and implementations, and (2) to establish common understanding and allow for standardizable specifications of architectural functional entities and interfaces. Now is the time for harmonization and consolidation of some ideas emerging (or achieved so far) from both approaches to Future Internet design, through the development of a common, unified and “standardizable” Reference Model for autonomic networking. This paper presents this vision. We also present the design principles of an emerging Generic Autonomic Network Architecture (GANA)—a holistic Reference Model for autonomic networking calling for contributions. We describe different “instantiations” of GANA that demonstrate its use for the management of a wide range of both basic and advanced functions and services, in various networking environments.
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