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Services and Security Domain
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Validation of Integrated Telecommunication Architectures for the Long term

Main Objective
The objective of the VITAL project is to demonstrate and validate the development, deployment, management, and use of complex heterogeneous service features on an Open Distributed Telecommunication Architecture (ODTA) defined in terms of reusable components. The project will not investigate new ODTA concepts, but will validate, refine and extend the Telecommunication Information Networking Architecture (TINA) to support the target service features, taking into account inputs from TMN, IN, and related RACE results, such as Open Services Architecture (OSA).
The service features considered for integration are multi-media, multi-party, mobility and IN-like supplementary services. Mobility encompasses personal, session, and terminal mobility. Both operational and management aspects of the resulting service classes will be dealt with. An integrated teletraining application will be implemented, to challenge the service features offered by the ODTA.

Technical Approach
The specifications of the TINA-C Distributed Processing Environment (DPE), Service Architecture, and Connection Management Architecture are direct inputs to the VITAL ODTA definition. These specifications will be extended and refined to provide the selected service features, using input from areas such as IN, TMN and previous RACE work -such as OSA and MAGIC. The approach of the project will be a very pragmatic one, by reusing the results of the work that is already been carried out within this area.
The ODTA components will be implemented on top of a DPE platform. The validation criteria for the ODTA will address both the actual trials and a theoretical validation against other models (TMN, IN, OSA) of which there is already considerable experience available in the consortium.
The project will provide feedback to related standardisation (ETSI) and consortia (ACTS, TINA-C, OMG) initiatives. Several partners have representatives within these organisations.
The project uses a phased approach to reach its objectives, each phase lasting 12 months.
During Phase 1, a first version of the ODTA components and a limited set of service features has been defined, implemented and demonstrated in a first trial. Access to the service features is provided through basic user interfaces, and a first version of a Desktop Video Conferencing service is demonstrated. The trial has run on both the Spanish and Italian National Hosts (NHs), although they were not interconnected, and no end-user communities were involved.
During Phase 2, a refined version of the ODTA components and an extended set of the service features - covering all multi-media, multi-party, mobility aspects - will be defined, implemented and demonstrated in a second trial. A first implementation of the integrated teletraining application, comprising a Desktop Video/Audio Conferencing, white board, slide presentation, and chat services, will be provided, which will make use of a set of IN-like supplementary services. In addition, the trial will now have the Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Belgian NHs interconnected, and three end-user communities will be involved.
During Phase 3, the final version of the ODTA components will be defined, implemented and demonstrated in a third trial. Issues like service composition, interworking with legacy (TMN, IN and signalling, and Internet), and brokerage and third-party service provisioning will be tackled in detail.
This phased approach not only allows a rapid first validation of the ODTA, but will also evaluate its extendibility, scalability and reusability, both in terms of providing additional service features and using heterogeneous underlying transport technology. At the end of each phase feedback will be collected from all the relevant stakeholders.
The main building blocks of the VITAL ODTA and the relation between them are shown in Figure 1. The Service Architecture defines the way users will access the service, and how they will behave within the service. This part of the architecture provides the primitives to dynamically add and delete users, and to transfer ownership, among others. User customisation and personalisation, subscription, service brokerage and mobility are dealt with during service access, while the core of the service is taken care of during operation.
The connectivity requirements that result from the service negotiation between users are realised by the Network Resource Management Architecture, which offers a technology independent view of the network to the Service Architecture, and uses specific switching and transmission technology to serve its clients.
The front-ends of the applications run on terminals belonging to the different stakeholders active in the virtual market place that the TINA architecture intends to realise. As such, the architecture extends into the terminals.
The Distributed Processing Environment (DPE) offers the components programmer a homogeneous view on the heterogeneous network and computing resources. A CORBA 2.0 compliant DPE platform is used.

Figure 1 The main building blocks of the VITAL ODTA.

Summary of Trial
Each of the 12-months phases of the project are concluded by a trial:
Trial VITALv1 has run on both the Spanish and Italian National Hosts (NHs), although they were not interconnected. No end-user communities were involved. Tools were integrated in the trial that allowed real-time visualisation of the communication between the different objects that together implement the ODTA (the computational viewpoint), and of the composition of the information maintained in key objects (the informational viewpoint).
Trial VITALv2 will have the Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Belgian NHs interconnected, and three end-user communities will be involved to participate in the teletraining application.
For Trial VITALv3, the same NHs will be involved, but the end-user communicaties will be able to experiment with a teletraining application with an extended set of features.

Key Issues

Expected Achievements
Expected Impact
Since VITAL will cover service development, deployment, operation, management and exploitation, it will contribute to the evaluation and enhancement of the different aspects of the ODTA based on the TINA-C architecture. The experience gained will be applied to service control as well as service management, resource and connection management, covering computational as well as engineering aspects.
The VITAL results will contribute towards promoting the uptake of an open architecture for communication services. The optimise the impact of the VITAL results, VITAL is a TINA-C Auxiliary Project, and a joined collaborative workplan has been set up with the TINA-C core team. It is thus expected that the VITAL results will be fully alligned with the final TINA-C specifications.


					Jan Zuidweg
Alcatel Bell, Research Division
Francis Wellesplein 1
B-2018 Antwerp
Tel:    +32 3 240 7798
Fax:    +32 3 240 9932
					(email removed)

List of Domains and Chains
Services and Security Domain
Network Interworking Chains
Service Integration Chains

List of participants

Alcatel Bell
Alcatel Alsthom Recherche
Alcatel EspaƱa
IONA Technologies
IT Aveiro
MARI Group
Politecnico di Torino
Portugal Telecom CET
Telefonica I+D
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid
University College London