Creating assured virtual subnets on the fly with great end user experience

Last week we participated in a Demo Day here in Luleå, Sweden at the SICS North Swedish ICT research institute to present two different demos that we have been working on in conjunction with Project SENDATE, a European research program whose goal is to provide scientific, technical and technological concepts and solutions for a range of new application scenarios facing our digital society that will lead to a massive increase in both the number of connected devices and traffic growth. Among these application scenarios are Industrial Internet, IoT, healthcare applications, and, of course, 5G.

Read on to find out more about SENDATE and the two different demo topics Netrounds has been involved in:

  1. Using open source NFVO to deploy VNFs for service assurance in a tactile Internet use case involving robots and multiple distributed datacenters.
  2. Significantly improve software-based network measurements to achieve microsecond precision in virtual environments for 5G and tactile Internet applications.

What is SENDATE?

SENDATE, which is short for SEcure Networking for a DATa Center Cloud in Europe, intends to stimulate collaboration between European companies in the telecommunications, data center, and IT spaces to innovate around secure, flexible, low latency, and locality-aware distributed data centers. 

Project SENDATE kicked off in April of this year and will run until May 2019.

Netrounds is engaging in Project SENDATE together with our partners Arctos Labs, Ericsson, and Luleå University of Technology around the topic of “Distributed P2P-based SDN cloud with user experience assurance.” The goal is to create a secure overlay where virtual subnets can be created dynamically and distributed software process are interconnected to introduce opportunities for increased operational efficiency, as well as redundancy. Other objectives include developing solutions to assure good end user experience and performance in containerized or virtualized IoT use cases.

Using open source NFVO to deploy VNFs for service assurance in a tactile Internet use case involving robots and multiple distributed datacenters

Two initial demos led by the Netrounds team were shown. The first of these demonstrated the deployment of network connectivity between two datacenters and a robot, as well as the automatic deployment of software-based test agents to validate the quality and performance of those connections.

Jan Jakobsson, Netrounds’ Senior DevOps Engineer leading the investigation and development for this use case, commented that, “Today, there is too much manual work involved with rollout and quality assurance in the introduction of new services and environments. Also, as the industry is moving towards the use of more open source, more open APIs and the use of more software, automated service assurance between data centers and end-devices becomes an essential component in the rapidly evolving SDN (Software Defined Networking) area.

Automatic initial verification and continuous monitoring of network quality and SLAs is required by both big and small service providers, and they can do this using solutions with open APIs and the capability to be automated to save resources and costs through that automation and reproducibility. This also really helps with flexibility and a focus on quality.”

Components and open source tools shown in the demo: 

  • Netrounds Virtual Test Agents (vTAs)
  • Open Source MANO (Release ONE) acted as the NFVO, onboarding and instantiating the VNFs including the vTAs for assurance
  • OpenStack (Newton release) was the VIM
  • OpenDaylight (Beryllium release) was the SDN controller

Significantly improve software-based network measurements to achieve microsecond precision in virtual environments for 5G and tactile Internet applications

The second demo, led by Erik Alapää, Senior Specialist at Netrounds focusing on Unix and hard, real-time C/C++, is focused on achieving microsecond precision in virtualized environments based on underlying hardware timestamping and SR-IOV.

“Hardware timestamping will be an essential feature for conducting real-time performance measurements where microsecond precision is necessary. For example, in distributed IoT environments or even in the mobile core. Today’s software timestamping gives nowhere near adequate precision – today it is in the order of milliseconds,” said Erik. “We need to utilize hardware timestamping in virtual machines using SR-IOV in order to extend those precision measurements into SDN and OpenStack scenarios.”

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Erik Alapäa, Netrounds, demonstrates his initial research findings on hardware timestamping at the Project SENDATE Demo Day

If you have any questions about the demonstrations or Project SENDATE, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you are attending Carrier Network Virtualization in Palo Alto this week, December 5th to 8th, please stop by and we will be happy to answer any questions that you have about Project SENDATE and our demonstrations.

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Erik Alapää and Jan Jakobsson, far right, present at Project SENDATE Demo Day