The Spontaneous Virtual Network (SpoVNet) research project develops overlay-based tools and techniques for easy development and spontaneous deployment of distributed network applications and services. As a step forward on the migration path towards the Internet of the future, SpoVNet is able to cope with the challenges raised by an evolving network
Today's scenery of communication is highly affected by an increasing heterogeneity of network technologies, mainly based upon the multitude of existing - wired and wireless - network access standards (like IEEE802.x, Bluetooth, ZigBee, ISDN or DSL). This heterogeneity conflicts with the homogenization through ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) that has been announced some years ago. In the meantime it has been understood that there will be no universal solution for all requirements. So the given heterogeneity raises big challenges regarding the controlability of complex, global communication systems.
SpoVNet follows the approach of providing spontaneous communication by composing algorithms and protocols that allow self-organization in distributed systems. Such self-organizing systems are able to adapt to the given requirements and network loads flexibly and without further involvement of administrative expenditure. Thus, various applications (speech communication, distributed games, downloads, traffic telematics and tv transfer for instance) should be seamlessly usable over different, heterogeneous network technologies ("any time, any where, any service"). Regarding this scenario, the applications have to be able to adjust themselves to the actual given situations of the users in their real environments dynamically. Furthermore, communication networks will have to offer the individual service demands concerning group communication, security, signaling and mobility management. In this context today's solutions are restricted to a static kind of provision only.
Although it is possible to configure so-called VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to match specific requirements, the configuration is quite static and complex. So a spontaneous solution is to be preferred instead. The main objective of spovnets (spontaneous virtual networks) is exactly to accomplish this intention of providing the actual arising service needs spontaneously, autonomously and adaptively.