This paper describes a new paradigm to realize network virtualization and defines two novel concepts, network planes and parallel Internets, to achieve service differentiation. These concepts are packaged in a technology-agnostic and a multi-dimensional approach for the delivery of Internet protocol (IP) service differentiation, both intra- and inter-domain. The definition of the aforementioned concepts covers several dimensions, mainly routing, forwarding, and traffic management ones. Unlike some radical “Post IP” proposals, this paper advocates an evolutionary approach for enhancing the level of experienced connectivity services (including quality of service and robustness) and therefore to enhance the Internet of the future. Both the rationale and the merits of our approach are explained. In addition, this paper focuses on the critical problem of determining the network planes and parallel Internets to be engineered by a given IP network provider to meet the service connectivity requirements of external service providers. Finally, in order to assess the validity of the proposed approach, a network plane Emulation Platform is described.
Service differentiation Quality of service Traffic engineering Robustness Business model