Next week there are going to be some big events in Berlin as part of Berlin5GWeek. In addition to sessions on 5G, the week includes separate events focused on network functions virtualization (NFV); software-defined networking (SDN); edge computing; and industrial Internet of Things (IoT).
Also, a FUSECO Forum event hosted by the research group Fraunhofer Fokus will hone in on topics such as network slicing and multi-access edge computing.
Giuseppe Carella, a researcher at Fraunhofer Fokus, said, “One of the major evolutions in 5G is that everything will be enabled by software components. NFV and SDN are the major enablers. 5G will be placed on those two major technologies.”
“We have dedicated quite an amount of time to understanding the practical experiences of operators,” said Carella.
Open Baton Release 5
During the same week, the Open Baton MANO group will issue its Open Baton Release 5. Open Baton’s main focus has been to write management and network orchestration (MANO) code for virtual networks. Open Baton is led by two research organizations based out of Germany: the Fraunhofer Fokus Institute and the Technical University of Berlin.
“NFV was just celebrating five years,” said Carella, referring to the publication of the ETSI NFV industry specification group’s NFV white paper in October 2012. “We are right on time delivering the fifth Open Baton release. We have invested a lot of time to stabilize the platform itself to bring secure communication between different modules.”
In terms of new features, the next release includes support for containers with Docker integration. “We started with Docker because it was easier from our perspective to integrate with,” said Carella. “We only had to spend time on VIM [virtual infrastructure manager] drivers and VNF managers. We started with Docker because at the time it was the most used container environment.”
The open source group does plan to include support for Kubernetes in the future.
Open Baton is also trying to address the needs of the multi-access edge computing (MEC) environment. “When looking at MEC, we’re usually talking about nodes and servers which are deployed near the base stations,” said Carella. “We think that’s going to small environments like Raspberry Pis, where you could run VNFs directly on Raspberry Pis; a very lightweight kind of environment.”
So, as part of its Release 5 and in conjunction with its support of Docker, Open Baton has worked on enabling the container environment on standard Intel x86 servers and ARM-based servers. “This required a new VNF manager component, decoupling the central orchestration logic from the local orchestration logic,” said Carella.
Recently, Heather Kirksey, the director of the open source group OPNFV said it had added Open Baton integration on the MANO side.