Skip to main content

Next Generation Platform as a Service

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - NGPaaS (Next Generation Platform as a Service)

Reporting period: 2018-07-01 to 2019-08-31

5G standard emerges at a particular time in technology history when cloud transforms deeply almost all industries and services: it becomes obvious that innovations have to be made cloud-native for being successful. Cloud has however, so far, had only limited benefits on Telco infrastructure with ETSI NFV trying to adapt the rigid Infrastructure-As-A-Service (IaaS) model and Cloud RAN being essentially only a (partially) virtualised RAN. We think there is a risk for 5G to remain a niche connectivity gap-filler largely ignored by cloud applications and services boom if another better model is not adopted. NGPaaS has the ambition to transform this risk into a resounding success.
We think 5G must become the ubiquitous fabric blending universal connectivity (to humans, robots, sensors…) with cloud versatility and scalability. For realising this vision, another model than IaaS must be adopted, a model derived from the cloud service providers themselves, a model made by developers for the developers, the Platform-As-A-Service (PaaS). PaaS promises to deliver network services and applications with higher agility and performance as “ancillary services” such as scalability, high availability, state management, communications… are provided once by the PaaS: developers and service providers are therefore able to concentrate only on their applications and businesses, iterations are faster thanks to DevOps. An ideal 5G PaaS should not only facilitate building, shipping and running classical virtual network applications (VNF) with “telco-grade” quality, it should also combine all sort of third-party applications with those VNF for creating new more versatile and powerful cloud objects, breaking silos between connectivity and computing. Such a 5G PaaS does not exist today, NGPaaS build it.
A new 5G cloud-native stack centered on a telco-grade PaaS, Dev-For-Operations processes supporting a multi-sided platform between operators, vendors and third-parties, and a new refactored OSS model, has been proposed and named NGPaaS. We implement several “laser-focused” versions of NGPaaS for supporting Telco, vertical and combined scenarios (identified here as 5G). We deploy and validate these PaaSes iteratively, first in cloud using ‘virtual siblings’, then in the laboratory and finally over a live site at the Paris-Saclay campus.
For that, a set of innovative design rules have been proposed, implemented and tested: 1) Components modularity and ‘Build-to-order’ principle, 2) Recursivity and polymorphism, 3) Unstructured cloud-computing stack, 4) Telco-grade enhancements, and 5) Project integrated system.
We build a new 5G cloud-native stack cantered on a telco-grade PaaS, Dev-For-Operations processes supporting a multi-sided platform between operators, vendors and third-parties, and a revisited OSS model. We implemented several PoCs supporting diverses use-cases Telco, vertical and combined scenarios. We deployed and validated these PaaSes iteratively, first in cloud using ‘virtual siblings’, then in the laboratory and finally over a live site at the Paris-Saclay campus.
The main achievements of the project are listed below, together with related publication references, when available:
1. Secured IoT SmartBox edge gateway (new product built by VM2M and VOSyS)
2. Dev-for-Operations model (new service)
3. Next Generation 5G Core Network (new product) released in Open-Source under openAirInterface project
4. VM2M CommonSense IoT Platform becomes container based (new product version)
5. vFPGAmanager virtualization framework (new product version)
6. High performance hypervisor MicroVisor with high availability support and FPGA acceleration card (new product, Spin-OFF).
7. Adaptive sampling and detect short traffic anomalies (new product feature) in NOKIA CloudBand product
8. Reusable Function Block Description and Composition Language (RDCL) Framework Enhancements to support infrastructure, platform and service roles and views (new product feature)
9. Telco grade extensions to Kubernetes released in Open-Source (see Kubernetes Git)
10. CORD platform installation enhancement (speed-up)
11. VARYS: it enables users to monitor their Cloud systems and applications in a few clicks. VARYS is a technology-agnostic Monitoring as a Service solution that can monitor KPIs at all levels of the Cloud stack, including the application-level.

These results are published is a large number of publications in high quality conferences and journals, and also a number of contributions to both the opensource and standards communities. Project exploitable results and innovative ideas have been identified and partially developed in the context of the project innovation management.
The technology developed by NGPaaS has a strong societal impact on a number of fronts: (i) it benefits the end-users, as the architecture developed by NGPaaS provides them with a broader wider variety of services in their mobile device at a competitive price (support of many services), (ii) it benefits society as a whole, since it promotes a smart and sustainable growth of the economy (industry 4.0) and in particular the telecommunications sector, by changing the mobile network ecosystem and opening it to new players and new start-ups, and (iii) it also benefits the European economy and industry, by putting Europe ahead in the development of a very innovative technology in a sector of very high potential.
From an end-user perspective, the technology developed by the project allows to support many use-cases and features able to offer him a safer road, a smart city, ageing well (e-health) etc which are the main challenges cited in the recent recommendations report prepared jointly by the 5G Infrastructure Association (5G IA) and Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation Association (AIOTI) where they identify the research and innovation topics that are crucial for the successful development and deployment of Smart Networks and Services under the Horizon Europe programme. This objective is achieved by NGPaaS novel technologies, which can flexibly provide higher capacity when needed and at the same time they can also provide lower latencies when required (front-end cloud/EDGE, FPGA), making the cost of service provision affordable to the network operator (business will grow thanks to network slicing) and (consequently) to the end users.
NGPaaS also contributes to the community societal challenge on inclusive, innovative and reflective societies. By boosting market opportunities of telecommunication providers and the market positioning of equipment/solution vendors as well as application providers, NGPaaS contributes to “inclusive societies” by promoting “smart and sustainable growth”. In fact, in a slowing market expansion rates and declining revenues, where end users request personalised services, better performance, better user experience, and diverse service guarantees, operators need new operational models with increased automation and greater flexibility to develop and provision new services. NGPaaS has the potential of unleashing the NFV promise for a true revolution on the way: i) operators manage their network and offer their services, (ii) vendors design and architect their application, and (ii) embark easily the verticals in the 5G eco-system.
The concept of Reusable Function Block
First period achievements mapping to the NGPaaS architecture
NGPaaS pilot supporting diverse use-cases using the same NGPaaS workflow
Simplified view of NGPaaS architecture