The Telecom Infra Project, or TIP, recently established the E2E Slicing Working Group. That group is focused on demonstrating and understanding how this technology and approach works in real-world situations.
In offering detail on its mission, the new working group explains “Operators are eager to take advantage of the tremendous flexibility network slicing could give them to quickly and easily address the specific requirements of Massive IoT, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and other 5G-enabled applications through the creation of multiple logical networks that share the same physical infrastructure.
“This project will identify E2E use cases that can be researched, developed and demonstrated to help operators overcome many of the key challenges of employing network slicing to support their 5G services,” it added. “The E2E Network Slicing Project Group will take full advantage of TIP’s large, diverse and growing membership to involve different key players, including: telecom operators, equipment vendors, orchestration suppliers, application providers, network integrators and technologists.”
BT (News - Alert), Ciena, i2cat, and TSSG came together for an E2E slicing demo at the TIP Summit this week in London. Ciena contributed its 3906 Service Virtualization Switches to the test bed, which has compute, connect, and store capabilities simulating spine-leaf underlay and Inter-Process Communications IPC (News - Alert) VPN overlay. The demo employed the RINA in the kernel. That associated virtual machine processes in different nodes to map application flows and handle other functions.
The disaggregated nature of networks in light of the rise of containers, microservices, and virtual machines makes orchestrating services even more challenging. And an MEF (News - Alert) 17 Proof of Concept demonstrated orchestrated automation of an E2E slice within a single operator domain. But the TIP demo noted above is even more complex because it involves E2E slicing within a multi-domain global virtual fabric, which consists of various operators and public clouds.
All of this points to the desire of service providers to move away from closed, proprietary networking toward more open networks that allow for faster and greater innovation. TIP, which is headed up by Facebook (News - Alert), is one industry consortium working to move this kind of thing forward. And its E2E Slicing Working Group aims to make orchestrating E2E slices fast and easy.
Edited by Maurice Nagle