OSM PoC 13 Integration of 5G Experimentation Infrastructures into a Multi-Site NFV Ecosystem using OSM

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PoC Team Members

  • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M)
  • Telefónica

All Poc team members are OSM members or participants

  • Main contacts:
    • UC3M: Luis F. González (luisfgon _at_ it.uc3m.es)
    • UC3M: Borja Nogales (bdorado _at_ pa.uc3m.es)
    • UC3M: Iván Vidal (ividal _at_ it.uc3m.es)
    • UC3M: Francisco Valera (fvalera _at_ it.uc3m.es)
    • Telefónica: Diego López (diego.r.lopez _at_ telefonica.com)


Network Function Virtualization (NFV) has been regarded as one of the key enablers for the 5th Generation of mobile networks, or 5G. This paradigm allows to reduce the dependence on specialized hardware to deploy telecommunications and vertical services. To this purpose, it relies on virtualization techniques to softwarize network functions, simplifying their development and reducing deployment time and costs. In this context, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Telefónica, and IMDEA Networks Institute have developed an NFV ecosystem inside 5TONIC, an open network innovation center focused on 5G technologies, enabling the creation of complex, close to reality, experimentation scenarios across a distributed set of NFV infrastructures, which can be made available by diverse stakeholders at different geographic locations.

This PoC presents a protocol that has been defined to incorporate new remote NFV sites into the aforementioned multi-site NFV ecosystem, describing the requirements for both the existing and the newly incorporated infrastructures, the mechanism to connect them through an overlay network architecture, and the steps necessary for the integration of new sites. This PoC is exemplified through the incorporation of an external site to the 5TONIC NFV ecosystem, including the deployment of a multi-site vertical service to demonstrate its feasibility to enable distributed experimentation scenarios. This deployment was performed in the external site, which provides a remote NFV infrastructure with small-sized Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

PoC Key Takeaways

This Proof of Concept (PoC) demonstrates the feasibility of a protocol to integrate 5G experimentation and vertical infrastructures in a multi-site NFV ecosystem for the deployment of multi-site telecommunications and vertical services.

  • OSM is intended to support the management and orchestration of network services on the NFV ecosystem. The VNFs composing those network services may be deployed at multiple geographically distributed sites.
  • The PoC details the necessary steps to incorporate external sites into NFV ecosystems. This allows to flexibly increment the portfolio of compute, storage and networking resources, provided by external NFV sites, available in an experimentation ecosystem.
  • An overlay network architecture based on VPN is used to allow (and manage) the data exchange between sites. This overlay enables both MANO traffic, and data exchanged between VNFs in different sites.
  • The validation of the effectiveness of the protocol to incorporate external NFV sites is performed through the deployment of a smart-farming vertical service, which involves an external site composed of multiple UAVs.
  • The PoC is totally based on open-source technologies (i.e., OSM, OpenStack and OpenVPN)

PoC Proposal

OSM Components


Reference material

The publication presented in [1] provides all the details to facilitate the reproducibility of the experiment, including a demo video content.

[1] Nogales B, Gonzalez LF, Vidal I, Valera F, Garcia-Reinoso J, Lopez DR, Rodríguez J, Gonzalez N, Berberana I, Azcorra A. Integration of 5G Experimentation Infrastructures into a Multi-Site NFV Ecosystem. J Vis Exp. 2021 Feb 3;(168). doi: 10.3791/61946. (2021).

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