IEEE Softwarization - January 2018
A collection of short technical articles

Transport Aspects of Network Slicing: Existing Solutions and Gaps

By Daniele Ceccarelli, Ericsson; and Young Lee, Huawei, USA

A network slice is defined by 3GPP as an end to end logical network comprising a set of managed resources and  network functions. Its definition and deployment start from the RAN (Radio Access Network) and packet core, but in order to guarantee end to end SLAs (Service Level Agreements) and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) especially for applications that require strict latency and bandwidth guarantee, the transport network also plays an important role and needs to be sliced as part of services bound to the different slices.  However, it is not easy for clients/applications to interface directly with transport networks.

Network Slicing for Conditional Monitoring in the Industrial Internet of Things

By Huanzhuo Wu, Deutsche Telekom Chair of Communication Networks; Giang T. Nguyen, Deutsche Telekom Chair of Communication Networks, SFB-912 HAEC, Technische Universität (Dresden, Germany); Anil Kumar Chorppath, Deutsche Telekom Chair of Communication Networks; and Frank H.P. Fitzek, Deutsche Telekom Chair of Communication Networks, 5G Lab Germany

One of the key use cases for the future 5G network is the massive machine-to-machine communication for the Internet of Things (IoT) area, fulfilling a broad set of requirements, from massive bandwidth to extremely low latency and the huge heterogeneity of end devices. Subsequently, the network has to provide the IoT domain a dedicated network slice from the physical network. The network slicing concept describes a logical segment of a physical network guaranteeing a set of QoS requirements. More importantly, they are ensured for end-to-end communication, not only at the radio access segment, but also at the network core. The whole network infrastructure needs to provide provisioning, managing association to slices, interoperating and supporting performance and isolation.

Network Slicing for Industry 4.0 Applications – Initial RAN Testbed Results

By Martin Danneberg, Ahmad Nimr, Maximilian Matthé, Gerhard P. Fettweis, TU Dresden

Wireless networks operating in unlicensed bands suffer because multiple radio technologies have to share the same frequency resources causing cross-technology interference. However, in industrial scenarios various technologies have to be supported to connect any kind of application to the network. One solution to solve those challenges is to use one flexible physical layer (PHY) chipset, instead of multiple PHY chipsets to interconnect the different wireless sensors, robots or cameras. Since only one flexible chipset is going to be utilized, the parameters of the signal processing inside must be reconfigured quickly to emulate the different radio access technologies. This article gives an overview of a testbed that offers a flexible PHY implementation with fast reconfiguration. The goal is to provide an interface for SDN solutions to offer different network services in unlicensed bands.

A Network Service Provider Perspective on Network Slicing

By Luis M. Contreras and Diego R. López, Telefónica Global CTIO Unit

The feasibility of creating logical, full-functional partitions of network infrastructures (either physical, virtual, or a combination of both), known as slices, will permit network service providers to overcome the great challenge of forthcoming 5G services: how to support and operate different kind of services with very distinct needs onto the same infrastructure. Mixing services like enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC) and ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (uRLLC), altogether on the same network, makes quite difficult to define a common architecture capable of keeping the requirements of each of them in an ordered and structured form. It is much more convenient to think on segregating them on specialized partitions, designed and optimized for the type of service to be provided.

5G: Platform and Not Protocol

By Bessem Sayadi and Laurent Roullet, Nokia Bell-Labs France

With the promise of offering ultra-reliable, low-latency high speed communications, 5G is expected to enable a golden digital age of remote healthcare, autonomous cars and advanced robotics use-cases. 5G heralds an explosion of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) applications and accelerates the already rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT).

5G Network Slicing and Security

By Emmanuel Dotaro, Head of ICT and Security Labs at Thales Secure Communications and Information Systems – France

Despite the lack of common understanding or unique standard definition, the network slicing concept has been used with the same virtualization fundamentals in many contexts. From the GENI concept, in MPLS/GMPLS framework towards 5G, most of the visions consider a set of resources virtualized for the benefit of a tenant, sharing de-facto part of the control/management with the underlying infrastructure. The immediate security issue was related to the isolation between slices but already in NGMN listed a set of key security issues beyond basic isolation concerns. The overall slice vision is illustrated in Fig. 1.

Perspectives on Network Slicing – Towards the New ‘Bread and Butter’ of Networking and Servicing

By Alex Galis, University College London

This paper provides an analysis of the challenges of Network Slicing in the context of 5G Networks. It represents also a synthetic perspective on the results presented in the special edition – published in the December 2017 and January 2018 issues of the SDN newsletter. It covers a summary of 5G network characteristics and advantages, network slicing concepts and terms and key challenges in network slicing.



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IEEE Softwarization Editorial Board

Laurent Ciavaglia, Editor-in-Chief
Mohamed Faten Zhani, Managing Editor
TBD, Deputy Managing Editor
Syed Hassan Ahmed
Dr. J. Amudhavel
Francesco Benedetto
Korhan Cengiz
Noel Crespi
Neil Davies
Eliezer Dekel
Eileen Healy
Chris Hrivnak
Atta ur Rehman Khan
Marie-Paule Odini
Shashikant Patil
Kostas Pentikousis
Luca Prete
Muhammad Maaz Rehan
Mubashir Rehmani
Stefano Salsano
Elio Salvadori
Nadir Shah
Alexandros Stavdas
Jose Verger