Telecom providers struggle with low service flexibility, increasing complexity and related costs. Although cloud computing and networking have been two very active fields of research, there is currently little integration between the vast networking assets and data centres of telecom providers. UNIFY addresses this by considering the entire network, from home networks up to data centre, as a “unified production environment”. The unified approach will open up the potential of virtualization, programmability / automation to span across the whole infrastructure of the provider and guarantee an unprecedented level of agility for network operations and for deploying new, secure and quality of experience aware services, seamlessly instantiatable across the entire infrastructure. This will lead to a novel service-oriented carrier-grade platform for the Future Internet and brings virtualized services in the most efficient, secure and quality-aware way to the end-users. UNIFY focuses on enablers of such unified production environment and will develop an automated, dynamic service creation platform, leveraging a fine-granular service chaining architecture. A service abstraction model and a proper service creation language will enable the dynamic and automatic placement of networking, computing and storage components across the infrastructure. A global orchestrator, which novel optimization algorithms, ensures the optimal placement of the elementary service components across the entire infrastructure. New management technologies, based on experience from data centre and tightly integrated into the service orchestration architecture, will be developed and cope with the dynamicity of new services. The applicability of a universal network node based on commodity hardware will be evaluated in order to support both network functions and traditional data centre workloads, while the possible hardware acceleration that might be needed to support future workloads will be investigated.
Project leader (TMIT):