AllianceArchitecting a knowledge-defined 5G-enabled
network infrastructure toward the upcoming digital society

January 2018 – December 2020

Leaving the current 4th generation of mobile communications behind, 5G will represent a disruptive paradigm shift integrating 5G Radio Access Networks (RANs), ultra-high capacity access/metro/core optical networks and intra-datacenter network and computational resources into a single converged 5G network infrastructure. Thanks to an extensive deployment of network virtualization techniques leveraged by Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) technologies, such a 5G network infrastructure will have to be capable of inter-connecting anything (people, things, processes, contents, etc.) anywhere, no matter the geographic location, and over a set of network services truly meeting their diverse communication requirements (e.g., in terms of bandwidth, latency, reliability, etc.). Furthermore, these network services will have to be orchestrated end-to-end over several network and IT resource segments with high scalability, dynamicity and reactivity upon unexpected traffic and resource state changes, all this in an energy-efficient fashion.

The present coordinated project proposal ALLIANCE ambitiously aims at architecting, from top to bottom, a converged 5G-enabled network infrastructure satisfying those needs to effectively realize the envisioned upcoming Digital Society. Joining the long expertise of two multidisciplinary research teams, ALLIANCE will investigate the appropriateness of several networking solutions for 5G, such as SDN/NFV on top of an ultrahigh capacity spatially and spectrally flexible all-optical network infrastructure, or the OpenOverlayRouter (OOR) and the clean-slate Recursive Inter-Network Architecture (RINA) over packet networks, including access, metro, core and datacentre networks. Evaluation activities will not only consist of theoretical and simulation-based results, but also experimental activities over representative network test-beds implementing the aforementioned networking solutions for 5G, as a way to completely assess their performance in real network scenarios. ALLIANCE relies on cognitive QoE-driven management and orchestration, which optimises level service quality without network resource over-provisioning. In particular, an ambitious goal of the ALLIANCE proposal is to design and implement a Knowledge-Defined Networking (KDN)-based orchestration layer, implementing Deep learning (DL) techniques toward optimal end-to-end service provisioning. Last but not least, on the RAN segment, efforts will also be devoted in ALLIANCE to investigate on novel graphene mmWave-THz antenna systems for their potential use in 5G, as well as protocols for applications like Wireless Network on Chip (WNoC).

As a final coordinated task, some of the prototypes developed by the two ALLIANCE sub-projects will be integrated in an proof-of-concept, which will demonstrate the feasibility and functionality of the 5G-enabled ALLIANCE network infrastructure, and its composing networking solutions

EraserExperimenting with real application-specific
QoS guarantees in a large-scale RINA demonstrator

March 2018 – Septembre 2018
Fed4FIRE+ Open Call 3

Over the last several years, large research attention has been given to clean-slate network architectures for the Future Internet, capable of efficiently and effectively solving the well-known limitations of the current TCP/IP-based Internet architecture, e.g., in terms of routing scalability, application-specific Quality of Service (QoS) delivery or built-in security. In this context, the Recursive InterNetwork Architecture (RINA) has emerged as a very promising architectural solution to address these challenges. Such is the case, that a substantial number of European research projects have been funded to date to bring RINA closer to its eventual 5G market adoption (FP7 IRATI, FP7 PRISTINE, GEANT3+ Open Call IRINA, H2020 ARCFIRE).

To keep paving the way to this ambitious goal, large-scale experimental validations as enabled by the Fed4FIRE+ Federation of test-beds become of paramount importance. The present proposal for a medium experiment, ERASER, targets a larges-cale experimental evaluation of the real QoS guarantees that RINA can deliver to heterogeneous applications. A RINA test-bed composed of 87 nodes will be considered, emulating a 5G
metro/regional network scenario spanning from the end-user terminal until the virtual machines where applications run in a datacentre. To illustrate the QoS capabilities of RINA, we have chosen high-definition video streaming as our test application, for which the end-user quality of experience will be validated under different load conditions by injecting synthetic traffic in the network reproducing real application traffic.

Our experiments, never performed before nor in the roadmap of the currently running project H2020 ARCFIRE, will also shed light on the most appropriate deployments of the QoS policies in the recursive stack of layers (e.g., only at the bottom in the metro/regional network segment, or only at the top close to applications and end-users, or at all network layers), collecting measurements of the obtained QoS metrics for each deployment case.

SunsetSustainable Network Infrastructure Enabling the Future Digital Society

January 2015 – June 2018

The ICT eco-system has been rapidly and dramatically changing in the last several years. Emerging cloud services, mobile and social network technologies are creating new communication patterns, requiring architectural changes to the underlying networks in order to enable scalable growth in traffic volume, while supporting a high level of dynamic connectivity where applications and application components are frequently provisioned, released, and moved around. SUNSET project focuses on overcoming the existing bottlenecks of current architectural solutions to provide a successful support of the future Digital Society, paving the way to new-coming cloud ICT services as well as enhancing a sustainable use of these services by mature economic sectors, improving this way their competitiveness through cloud ICT technologies. More specifically, SUNSET proposes a novel architecture including all network segments (access, metro, core) and data centre network, empowered by advanced optical technologies and Software Defined Networking (SDN), capable of sustaining the growing resource and operational demands of next generation networks.

SUNSET aims to achieve several objectives as:

  • Researching and developing modulation techniques and signal processing techniques for a 10x improvement in transmission data rate in metro-access networks using low cost commercial devices.
  • Developing SDN-enabled nodes implementing elastic wavelength and space multiplexing as well as to implement SDN controllers able to manage legacy optical equipment.
  • Designing and developing SDN-based orchestration frameworks, SDN-enabled monitoring capabilities, resource optimization algorithms, and investigating future SDN technologies.
  • In the long term, SUNSET also investigates further reducing power consumption and enhancing performance at larger scales higher factors of 100 to 1000 in medium-long terms, by hybrid photonic and wireless technologies towards Data-Centres-in-a-Box, supported by new nanostructured materials.

Definitely, the SUNSET project brings together a combination of expertise and resources to deliver novel scalable and future-proof network overall infrastructure solutions.