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SLICENET Report Summary

Project ID: 761913
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SLICENET (End-to-End Cognitive Network Slicing and Slice Management Framework in Virtualised Multi-Domain, Multi-Tenant 5G Networks)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2018-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

It is recognized that various network applications developed for common public consumers or vertical businesses have significantly diverging requirements in terms of quality of service such as available network bandwidth and end-to-end transmission delay for the service. For instance, eMBB (enhanced Mobile Broadband), URLLC (Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications) and mMTC (massive Machine Type Communications) have been defined to support corresponding applications of matching requirements, e.g., mobile video applications, mission-critical industry applications, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications respectively. However, quality of service control to fulfil the service level agreements in mobile networks, which are shared by numerous users and of limited resources, is historically challenging. The emergence of demanding applications such as autonomous driving has posed even high challenges. To address these challenges, innovative, radical approaches are entailed for 5G services.
The SliceNet project targets to remove the limitations of current network infrastructures by achieving fully softwarisation-friendly 5G infrastructures, and address the associated challenges in managing, controlling and orchestrating the new services running in such infrastructures for users (especially vertical sectors), thereby maximizing the potential of 5G infrastructures and their services based on advanced software networking and cognitive network management. The core technology upon which SliceNet is built is known as Network Slicing, which introduces a new paradigm shift in the 5G networking era.
SliceNet aims to achieve an innovative 5G network slicing framework to improve the control, management and orchestration of network slice based services across multiple administrative domains, whilst offering flexibility and capabilities to the vertical users of the services. The project will demonstrate the benefits of the SliceNet framework through selected 5G use cases, including a 5G eHealth use case, a 5G Smart Grid use case and a 5G Smart City use case, all of which are featured with distinct service requirements.

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

In Year 1, firstly, SliceNet has completed the framework’s architectural definitions for network slicing control, management and orchestration, which were informed by the requirements analysis of the selected representative use cases presented by vertical partners. Secondly, a network slicing friendly infrastructure has been prototyped, supporting Mobile/Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) platform and programmable infrastructure. Thirdly, network slicing at the Radio Access Network level has been prototyped and successfully demonstrated in the EC’s flagship conference EuCNC 2018, in differentiating the requirements of different slices and supporting the demanded performance of the corresponding services. In addition, advances in Cognitive management definition and use cases development have been achieved.
In particular, Plug & Play (P&P) control of network slicing has been designed and prototyped. SliceNet P&P control provides an innovative per-slice control environment, which offers to the verticals (and in general to slice consumers) significantly enhanced degree of flexibility for deploying services to end users. For each slice instance, a vertical-tailored view and control of the slice is presented to the vertical through SliceNet One-Stop API, and therefore tailored control functions can be plugged to specialize the behavior and optimize the performance of the slice instance. These achievements will meet 5G requirements for highly customizable runtime control, management and operation of slice instances whilst offering vertical-tailored services for a broad range of use cases with diverging control requirements.

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)

The SliceNet project expects to achieve significant results, beyond the state of the art, in advancing network slicing based solutions to 5G network management, control and orchestration tasks, and improve the quality of experience for the vertical users employing the network slice based services. Specifically, for 5G verticals businesses, SliceNet offers an innovative one-stop shop solution to create customised services meeting diverging and challenging requirements. This will be achieved by enabling the verticals to promptly on-board their use cases to the system and plug and play their bespoke control in order to adopt, deploy and benefit from 5G slices, in a rapid, scalable and cost-efficient way through novel plug & play slicing functions and a one-stop API. For 5G service providers and users, SliceNet targets to provide unprecedented guaranteed service quality, by enabling advanced users’ QoE-centric service creation, delivery and lifecycle management. This will be achieved in an agile and optimised way through cognitive QoE monitoring, analytics, decision-making and self-optimisation enabled by machine learning and other artificial intelligence technologies. For 5G network operators, SliceNet presents an integrated FCAPS (Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance, Security) framework for truly end-to-end management, control and orchestration of 5G slices, in a secure, coordinated, robust and verticals-oriented way, by enabling secured, interoperable, reliable and QoE-driven operations across multiple virtualised administrative domains.

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