CORDIS - EU research results

In-Network Programmability for next-generation personal cloUd service supporT

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - INPUT (In-Network Programmability for next-generation personal cloUd service supporT)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2017-12-31

The Edge Computing technology is emerging as evolution of the “cloud” to support new service paradigms with tight performance and scalability requirements.
The INPUT project was one of the first actions focusing on this technology to design a new platform for turning telecommunications mobile network infrastructures into distributed datacenters, and, on top of them, enabling personal cloud services to directly interact with the smart connected objects in the user’s facilities.
The designed platform allows to directly address the needs of various stakeholders. Telecom operators will be enabled to smartly manage their infrastructure and to play the role of “cloud providers” (increasing their positioning in the value service chain). Service providers will benefit from the simplified OpenStack-like interfaces exposed by the INPUT platform. New innovative applications will be made available to end-users.
To this end, the INPUT Project enhances the cloud service design, by:
• introducing computing and storage capabilities to edge network devices (“in-network” programmability) in order to allow users/telecom operators create/manage private clouds “in the network”;
• moving cloud services closer to end-users and smart devices, avoiding network infrastructure and datacenter overloading, and providing lower latency reactiveness to services;
• enabling the integration of personal cloud services with the networking technologies close to end-user smart devices to provide new service models (e.g. Personal Networks).
• assessing the validity of the proposed in-network cloud computing model through appropriately designed use cases and related proof-of-concept implementations.
The Consortium has proactively collaborated to realize the INPUT platform, and especially the OpenVolcano open-source project, which is its core component. OpenVolcano provides the largest part of the control- and data-plane functionalities of the INPUT Edge Computing system, as well as a full integration with (NFV/SDN-enabled) 4.5G mobile network technologies.
OpenVolcano has also been integrated with an extended version of the Ericsson Network Manager, which acts as off-line network analytics and long-term optimization engine.
Use-case applications constitute a further key outcome of the project. Specifically designed to emphasize the INPUT platform capabilities in multimedia and IoT fields, they can be considered as state-of-art services providing advanced edge computing features.
The entire platform along with its use-case applications have been demonstrated in both the final project experimentation, as well as in three early-bird proof-of-concept demonstrations in public events. A comprehensive set of videos, related to experimentation and demonstration activities, has been released and published on the project website.
In the standardization field, the project moved some promising steps within both ETSI and ITU. A joint working item has been created to extend the ETSI Green Abstraction Layer (GAL) toward SDN and NFV networks. In addition, a contribution has been proposed at the "Networked Devices Workshop" organized by the International Energy Agency for the "G20 Energy Efficiency Action Plan", June, 17-18, 2015, in Paris, France. The proposal was positively considered and integrated into the Action Plan presented at the 2015 G20 meeting in Turkey.
Regarding the exploitation of project outcomes, OpenVolcano has been made available to different stakeholders, namely Telecom Operators and Telecom Vendors (for further integrations), Researches (especially acting in the 5G and Edge Computing fields).
Main Achievements at a Glance
• The OpenVolcano open-source project.
• Two use-case applications (the Virtual Set-Top Box and the IoT Home Management System.
• 51 papers in international conference proceedings and 15 in international journals already accepted.
• 1 Best Demonstration Award at the 2017 IFIP/IEEE Symposium on Integrated Network and Service Management
• Organization and technical sponsorship of 5 scientific workshops/conference sessions.
• 7 public demonstrations of the INPUT framework.
• Activation and coordination of a new ETSI working item entitled "Green Abstraction Layer 2.0 - Enhanced Interface for Power Management in NFV Environments".
• Participation and co-editing in ITU-T Study Group 5 Working Item on the "Improvement of energy efficiency in networks".
• Proposal for the energy efficient virtualization to the IEA’s "G20 Energy Efficiency Action Plan: Networked Devices".
• 16 invited speeches, keynotes, panels, and seminars.
The INPUT Project has brought forth an innovative framework to vertically integrate personal cloud services into the network edge, close to the end-users and better integrated with their heterogeneous network access technologies, thanks to a wide adoption of SDN and NFV paradigms. The project achieved:
• Reduced carbon footprint of completely and partially virtualized appliances up to 50% and 75%, respectively.
• A fully virtualized Personal Network environment empowered with a novel SDN mechanism (the Multi-Center Overlay) to meet Personal Network connectivity requirements.
• The realization of OpenVolcano, an Edge Computing framework prototype that exploits in-network programmability capabilities for off-loading, virtualization and monitoring.
• OPEX saving up to 60%, by exploiting advanced power management schemes in smart programmable devices.
• Up to 50% reduced latency for high-performance delay-sensitive cloud applications.
• The realization of a highly modular ecosystem relying on Southbound interfaces based on SDN and NFV, and Northbound interfaces toward end-users, service providers and network operators.
• The production of five main monitoring and analytics algorithms/mechanisms and one consolidation mechanism for dynamic resource provisioning and energy management.
• Better integration of cloud services beyond the heterogeneity of smart device operating systems, through the Personal Network and SD virtual image paradigms, providing a well-standardized and familiar environment to users as in their home LANs, with well-known and widespread protocols like DLNA, UPnP, OMA, etc.
• The realization of a complete INPUT platform prototype for the demonstrator, which includes the OpenVolcano and the Ericsson Network Manager software frameworks, all the main functionalities designed in WP2 and WP3 and fully supports and integrates two selected use-case applications related to multimedia and IoT services.
• Additional hardware (e.g. eNodeBs) and software (e.g. 4G Enhanced Packet Core and virtual network functions) to attach the INPUT platform with the 4G network.
The INPUT framework and its main building blocks
The INPUT logo