From Specialized Hardware Components to Software Programs in Datacenters
Today’s communication networks are designed to be deployed as a set of physical specialized components exchanging messages over standard interfaces. With the increase of data center technology, a new opportunity for deploying functions as software on top of common hardware architectures appeared, named Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).
Understanding the potential brought by the decoupling between hardware and software development cycles, Fraunhofer FOKUS is committed to develop a novel core network architecture addressing both the specific challenges in delay and management complexity of data center technologies, as well as the requirements of next generation radio technologies. This novel network virtualization functionality is integrated in FOKUS' OpenSDNCore toolkit which enables research in the following direction:
- Flexible re-allocation of computation and storage resources
- Load balancing mechanisms
- Software based re-design of core network architecture
- Flexible and automated EPC deployments
- Control Plane/User Plane separation
- Integration of cloud technologies i.e. OpenStack
- Virtualized core network management technologies
Based on the large experience developing hands-on toolkits of operator core networks, such as the worldwide renowned Open IMS Core and OpenEPC, Fraunhofer FOKUS aims at developing a novel core network architecture, pragmatically answering to all the specified NFV challenges from concept, securing IPR, to specification and to practical prototyping.