To address the needs for future network services, existing network architecture should evolve significantly to provide a higher level of flexibility, resilience and quality of service. This challenge was also the one of computing which has found with “virtualisation” a breakthrough approach to bring a high flexibility in existing computing architecture which makes today the success of “Cloud Computing”. The next obvious following step is therefore to "cloudify" the networks. Concepts such as Software Defined Networks (SDN) started to be pushed by academy and vendors alike looking for ways to virtualize network services, and finally, the idea of virtualizing the control functions of network equipments has raised. This approach is named “Network Function Virtualization (NFV)” and promises to make networks work based on the same scale-based, cheap, general purpose hardware than current cloud services. Now these ideas look obvious and appealing but they are far from being easy to implement. Most of the obstacles to make them reality are yet to be understood and solved.
This VNET project, propose to study some of the most complex network cloudification problems from a global point of view i.e at radio access networks and the core networks to the service hosting data centers. It will identify the challenges and address the problems related to the virtualisation of RAN (Radio Access Neworks), the problems of service composition and dependability related to the deployment of SDN and NFV, and finally the design a NaaS platform with the associated tools to allow the specification, validation, deployment and management of on-demand of end-to-end services. In addition, the project will address the manageability of this “Cloudified” architecture using autonomic concepts using the MAPE framework. The results of the project are expected to be high not only in term of scientific impact but also in term of collaboration between the different partners in the different countries and improvement of the skill of the participating researchers and students.