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INPUT Report Summary

Project ID: 644672
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INPUT (In-Network Programmability for next-generation personal cloUd service supporT)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The continuous growth of Internet con-tent and applications has resulted in ever more demanding requirements of energy consumption, data storage capacity and data transfer speed. In order to cope with the limited resources of “small” user de-vices, there have been significant devel-opments the migration of applications and services to “cloud” paradigms, which move most of the computational and stor-age weight to large-scale powerful data-centers. The potential of these new para-digms are not being exploited to the full due to limitations of the foundations of the “cloud” are sapped by the underlying networking technologies and infrastruc-tures, which are too ossified and obsolete to provide a suitable support for the Fu-ture Internet.
The INPUT technologies will enable next-generation cloud applications to go beyond classical service models (i.e., IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS), and even to replace physical smart devices, usually placed in users’ homes (e.g., network-attached storage servers, set-top-boxes, video recorders, home automation control units, etc.) or deployed around for monitoring purposes (e.g., sensors), with their “virtual images,” providing them to users “as a Service.”
Virtual images are meant to realize smarter, always and everywhere accessible, performance-unlimited virtual devices into the cloud. Virtual images can be applied both to fully dematerialized physical devices and provide all their functionalities by the cloud, and to add potentially infinite smartness to devices with performance- and functionality-constrained hardware platforms. Virtual and physical SDs will be made available to users at any time and at any place by means of virtual cloud-powered Personal Networks, which will constitute an underlying secure and trusted service model. These Personal Networks will provide users with the perception of always being in their home LAN with their own (virtual and physical) devices, independently from their location.
To achieve these ultimate objectives, the INPUT Project will overcome current lim-itations on the cloud service design due to the underlying obsolete network para-digms and technologies, by:
• introducing computing and storage ca-pabilities to edge network devices (i.e. the “in-network” programmability) in order to allow users/telecom operators to create/manage private clouds “in the network”;
• moving cloud services closer to end-users and smart devices, in order both to avoid pointless network infrastructure and datacenter overloading, and to pro-vide lower latency reactiveness to ser-vices;
• enabling personal and federated cloud services to natively and directly integrate themselves with the networking tech-nologies close to end-user SDs in order to provide new service models (e.g., Per-sonal Networks).
• assessing the validity of the proposed in-network cloud computing model through appropriately designed use cas-es and related proof-of-concept imple-mentations.
INPUT will foster future-proof Internet infrastructures that will be “smarter,” fully virtualized, power vs. performance optimized, and vertically integrated with cloud computing, with a clear impact on operating and capital expenses of Tele-coms, of service providers, and of end-users. In this respect, INPUT will extend the programmability of network devices to make them able to host cloud applica-tions, which will cooperate with those in users’ terminals and datacenters to realize the cloud services.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During this reporting period, theProject Consortium has been collaborating in a proactive fashion in defining and adding details to the INPUT architecture, finalizing deliverable and internal reports. Internal working groups composed by people working on different technical WPs, discussed and agreed on both the INPUT architecture definition and the peculiarities of each module and interface to be used/developed within the project.
Use-cases to be used for the final demonstration have been identified and suitably detailed in internal reports edited by persons working in the various WPs.
Even if not planned, two early-bird proof-of-concept demonstrations of the INPUT framework have been already set up. The first one has been jointly realized by CNIT and Ericsson, and it exhibited to a number of stakeholders at the “Ericsson Innovation Day,” held Sept. 17th and 18th at the Ericsson Italia R&D headquarter in Genoa, Italy. The second one has been jointly realized by CNIT and Telecom Italia at the annual meeting of the Italian GTTI Group, held 15th-17th June 2016 in Genoa, Italy. A further proof-of-concept demonstration has been prepared but not yet exhibited.
Also in the standardization field, the project moved some promising steps within both the ETSI and the ITU contexts. Thanks to a proposal presented by Prof. Raffaele Bolla (CNIT) on behalf of the INPUT project at the 3rd ETSI Workshop on ICT Energy Efficiency and Environmental Sustainability, a new ETSI working item has been proposed with the support of the INPUT industrial partners and of Orange, Alcatel and Huawei in order to extend the Green Abstraction Layer, and making it more efficient in supporting SDN and NFV networks. In ITU-T, following the initiative of ETSI GAL, the INPUT project has been invited to participate to a current active Working Item in the Study Group 5 of ITU-T on the “Improvement of energy efficiency in networks”. Regarding communication activities, Flavio Cucchietti (Telecom Italia S.p.A.) presented on behalf of the INPUT project a proposal entitled “Networked devices - Energy Saving proposals” at the “Networked Devices Workshop” organized by the International Energy Agency for the “G20 Energy Efficiency Action Plan” in June, the 17th-18th in Paris, France. The INPUT proposal was positively considered, and it will be integrated into the Action Plan that will be presented at the 2015 G20 meeting in Turkey.

Main Achievements at a Glance
• 18 papers in international conference proceedings and 8 in international journals already accepted.
• Organization and technical sponsorization of 2 scientific workshops/conference sessions.
• Two public demonstrations of the INPUT framework.
• Activation and coordination of new ETSI working entitled “Green Abstraction Layer 2.0 - Enhanced Interface for power management in NFV environments.
• ITU-T, participation and co-editing in 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.”
• 10 invited speeches, keynotes, panels, and seminars.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

INPUT will provide an innovative frame-work to vertically integrate personal cloud services into the network edge, close to the end-users and better integrated with their heterogeneous network access technolo-gies thanks to a wide adoption of SDN and NFV paradigms. This framework will allow the following impacts on end-user cloud QoE:
• Reduced latency (of a factor up to 50% ) for high-performance delay-sensitive cloud application.
• A fully virtualized and personalized en-vironment thanks to the Virtual Personal Network services that will allow end-users to have access to their virtual and physical resources in any place and at any time.
• A better integration of cloud services beyond the heterogeneity of smart de-vice operating systems thanks to both the Personal Network and the Smart Device virtual image paradigms, which will provide a well-standardized and familiar environment to users like in their home LANs, with well-known and widespread protocols like DLNA, UPnP, etc.
• The possibility of instantiating cloud-powered virtual images of Smart Devic-es to totally replace physical set-top-boxes in the users’ homes, or to increase the smartness and extend the function-ality of physical devices (e.g., sensors) beyond their hardware capabilities.

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