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UBITECH kicks off the TeraFlow Research and Innovation Action on Secured Autonomic Traffic Management for a Tera of SDN flows

UBITECH participates at the virtual kick-off meeting hosted by CTTC (January 19-20, 2021) of the TeraFlow Research and Innovation Action, officially started on January 1st, 2021. The project is funded by European Commission under Horizon 2020 Programme (Grant Agreement No. 101015857) and spans on the period January 2021 – June 2023. The TeraFlow project aims to create a new type of secure cloud native SDN controller that will radically advance the state-of-the-art in beyond 5G networks. This new SDN controller shall be able to integrate with the current NFV and MEC frameworks as well as to provide revolutionary features for both flow management (service layer) and optical/microwave network equipment integration (infrastructure layer), while incorporating security using Machine Learning (ML) and forensic evidence for multitenancy based on Distributed Ledgers.

The target pool of stakeholders expands beyond the traditional telecom operators towards edge and hyperscale cloud providers. These actors will be benefited from TeraFlow by a) exploiting a new type of secure SDN controller based on cloud-native solutions while, b) achieving substantial business agility with novel and highly dynamic network services with zero-touch automation features. The novel TeraFlow architecture will be validated through the implementation of the TeraFlow OS with the following innovations: a) Cloud-Native Architecture; b) Transport Network Integration; c) Unification of Network and Cloud Resource Management; d) ML-based security; and e) Distributed Ledger Technologies.

Within TeraFlow, UBITECH will drive the activities towards shaping the TeraFlow OS, a novel SDN controller architecture, aiming at capabilities and deployments beyond 5G networks. To do so, TeraFlow OS will bridge key gaps of state of the art SDN controllers. First, TeraFlow OS targets ultra-high-performance flow processing (at least 10x higher than existing multi-instance controllers). To achieve such a massive performance gain, TeraFlow OS will adopt a revolutionary cloud-native network operating system design, based on distributed and fully disaggregated micro services. This design philosophy will be blended with on-demand establishment of transport network slices coupled with complex network operator SLAs. TeraFlow’s slicing approach will allow network operators to effectively bridge and integrate edge and core computing islands, each connected with multi-access technologies, such as massive IoT and heterogeneous networks with high mobility patterns. TeraFlow OS will also accommodate deployments that comprise of multi-tenant transport network slices of different (native and overlay) slicing protocols. TeraFlow will provide all these advanced features in a fully automated fashion, effectively enabling zero touch service management, while adopting novel protocols for programmable hardware inventory, alarms, and resource provisioning.

In particular, UBITECH will contribute (i) high performance flow processing mechanisms through smart hardware offloading, (ii) southbound drivers for the integration of NG-SDN devices (e.g., P4 switches) and unified abstractions for managing both NG-SDN devices and emerging edge processing devices, such as Smart NICs and/or GPUs, (iii) SDN automation mechanisms for NG-SDN devices (e.g., P4 switches) and/or Smart NICs, and (iv) transport network slices of different slicing technologies, which comply with network-level SLAs stemming from high-level SLAs. Moreover, UBITECH will provide efficient mechanisms to bridge SDN with legacy networks, ultimately enabling TeraFlow to bridge inter-domain, potentially geo-distributed, deployments. Finally, UBITECH will provide own hardware & software components to the TeraFlow testbed, while contributing to the platform integration, use cases, and validation activities. One of UBITECH’s main goals is to integrate its MAESTRO Vertical Application Orchestrator (VAO) product with TeraFlow’s network orchestrator, enabling end-to-end cloud native applications driven by modern high performance SDN technologies.