Well, we didn’t even had the time to realise it, but actually the three years of ACINO just came to an end!
The ACINO (Application Centric IP/optical Network Orchestration) project’s aim was to develop and demonstrate a dynamic, application-centric, multi-layer SDN network orchestrator, where the traffic of each application receives a tailored service at each layer of the transport network, thereby overcoming the gap that the grooming layer introduces between application service requirements and their fulfilment in the lower layers of the stack.
ACINO implemented the proposed concept by following three main technological pillars: learn, think, act. More specifically, the project was one of the pioneering European research activities that focused on intent-based networking to learn about the applications’ needs. Towards this objective, ACINO defined the information model representing the primitives that can be provided to applications to expose network functionalities and developed a grammar to explicitly describe requirements for network services without delving into the details of the underlying technologies, by means of a newly-developed controller-agnostic intent-based interface called DISMI.
Given an intent request with its set of requirements, an application-centric optimization solution elaborates (think) the most proper allocation of resources that satisfies them. The tool that transforms high-level requests into installable paths was developed on top of Net2Plan, an open-source optimization tool. ACINO defined an algorithmic framework that relies on multi-layer provisioning of individual connections. Application-centric (or application-aware) decision policies operating with many parameters (e.g. latency, availability, security, etc.) were included into this framework and compared with non-application-centric policies. Furthermore, online (in-operation) planning was included, with the aim of providing multi-layer, on demand, real time network resource re-optimization and/or re-configuration based on applications’ needs.
All the decisions made by the application-centric optimization are appropriately translated into a network state by the multi-layer network control suite (act), which is the core part of the orchestrator. The orchestrator triggers and/or executes the provisioning of resources and the configuration of devices operating at the IP and optical data plane. ACINO selected ONOS as the open-source framework for the core modules of the orchestrator and modified it to connect to the DISMI interface and process the intents, to expose a disaggregated multi-layer network model, to cooperate with Net2Plan, and to generally support the operations defined in the project. New southbound drivers, based on existing and emerging standards (e.g. the ONF Transport-API) were implemented in ONOS to manage the IP and optical layers.
The ACINO concept has been evaluated by means of techno-economic analysis. Starting from the purely technical matters, it has been demonstrated that the ACINO application-aware solution outperforms application-unaware ones in terms of amount of services that can be accommodated in the network while satisfying application requirements. More specifically, it has been observed that, while ACINO accepts slightly less requests than application-unaware solutions, it does not violate any requirements for the ones accepted, and the sum of these two metrics (acceptance ratio and violation of requirements) qualifies ACINO as a superior solution. On the other hand, application-awareness generally comes at a cost in terms of number of required interfaces (or IP links). The impact on capital expenditure is however mitigated by the opportunistic optimization of resources at both IP and optical layers that is carried out by ACINO. This aspect was indeed subject of a cost study, which highlighted that in order to achieve the same performance of ACINO, operators that have their optical layer optimized with typical offline planning and optimization algorithms would need to overprovision their network and afford higher costs compared to the ones required to adopt the ACINO approach: in some scenarios, more than doubled costs were observed.
Three testbeds, two physical and an emulated one, were setup to experimentally validate the ACINO approach and the defined use cases (5 use cases were demonstrated, and another 3 demonstrations were produced). Each use case highlighted the qualitative benefits of ACINO, mostly in terms of multi-layer application-centric functionalities that are offered to network operators and their customers. For instance, ACINO demonstrated the capability to provide on-the-fly security services at different network layers (i.e., IPSec, MACSec or Optical Sec) over mission-critical infrastructures for sensitive applications, according to their requirements (e.g. latency, throughput and payload overhead), while taking into account network flexibility and availability of hardware. In another use case, ACINO demonstrated the capability of its orchestrator to opportunistically provide the most suitable reactive (slow) or proactive (fast) survivability solution for connectivity services with different requirements in terms of availability (e.g. drone control versus video transfer, potentially belonging to the same customer).
The ACINO consortium described how current Operations Support Systems (OSS), deployed by network operators, could evolve to embrace SDN orchestration as proposed by ACINO, in order to reduce human intervention and time required to establish services, thereby decreasing the operational expenditure. From a future perspective, the consortium delineated the capability of the ACINO solution to unlock new business models (not available with currently envisioned multi-layer SDN orchestrators) in which network operators can allow applications from external players to interact with the orchestrator to provide multi-party service offerings, directly program the network behaviour and negotiate service requirements.
The outcomes of the project were largely disseminated and communicated by means of different channels (including the project website and Twitter account), with more than eighty different dissemination activities (articles, presentations, tutorials, etc.). Moreover, the members of the consortium have been very active in the standardization bodies (IETF and ONF) and in contributing to open source communities (ONOS and to a lesser degree Net2Plan). ACINO partners have been able to exploit the project outcomes by introducing novel intent-based application-aware solutions and open standard interfaces in their products, and by demonstrating them in commercial meetings and interoperability tests with major vendors and operators.
We are proud to announce that our partner Telefónica won the contest for the best NFV/SDN solution at the LTE & 5G World Awards 2016 (https://5gworldevent.com/), thanks to the work carried out on SDN technologies applied to end-to-end transport networks (from the access to the core).
With respect to the core network segment, Telefónica included a proof-of-concept on multi-layer orchestration carried out together with our partner Sedona Systems. This is a very important outcome related with the activities carried out within the ACINO Project and shows the link with other relevant EU efforts, such as the 5G-Crosshaul Project (in which Telefónica and CREATE-NET are involved as well).
Domenico Siracusa, coordinator of the ACINO project, will be the guest speaker at the next CommTech Talks event organized by Politecnico di Milano University.
The talk scheduled on May 26 at 5pm and titled “Application-* networking: a road paved with opportunities“ will discuss how applications will program the behavior of next generation transport networks and how networks will adapt to the needs of the applications, thus enabling new technological and product opportunities.
The discussion is the result of the worked carried out within the European projects ACINO and NetIde.
If you want to attend the event please register here
On the 14th of June our expert Achim Autenrieth (ADVA) will show a live demo on Policy-based Restoration in IP/Optical Transport Networks at the “SDN control and Open APIs for NREN Programmability” Workshop co-located with the Terena Networking Conference (TNC16) in Prague (more information about the event is available here).
Achim will present an IP/Optical SDN control solution for transport networks, the ACINO network orchestrator, which orchestrates IP or optical restoration based on the policy explicitly requested by the client application. Take your time to attend the demo and to enjoy the presentation!
The ACINO team is proud to announce the programme of the Workshop on Multi-Layer Network Orchestration (NetOrch), co-located with ICTON 2016, and jointly organized with the US-JPN project ACTION.
The workshop will be composed of two sessions, both in the morning of Thursday, the 14th of July.
Session 1 (8:30-9:50), chair: Isabella Cerruti
– 8:30 Th.A4.1 The software defined transport network: Fundamentals, findings and futures, D. King, C. Rotsos, A. Aguado, N. Georgalas, V. Lopez
– 8:50 Th.A4.2 SDN application-centric orchestration for multi-layer transport networks, F. Pederzolli, D. Siracusa, P. Sköldström, S. Junique, Ć. Rožić, D. Klonidis, T. Szyrkowiec, M. Chamania, V. Uceda, V. Lopez, Y. Shikhmanter, O. Gerstel
– 9:10 Th.A4.3 Demonstration of SDN-based orchestration for multi-domain segment routing networks, N. Kukreja, R. Alvizu, A. Kos, G. Maier, R. Morro, A. Capello, C. Cavazzoni
– 9:30 Th.A4.4 Managing services in the telecom cloud: An example for CDN, L. Velasco
Session 2 (10:20-11:40), chair: Andrea Fumagalli
– 10:20 Th.B4.1 Scalable network management and control for dynamic agile optical flows, V.W.S. Chan
– 10:40 Th.B4.2 The ACTION project: Application Coordinating with Transport, IP and Optical Networks, N. Yamanaka, S. Okamoto, Y. Imakiire, M. Arase, E. Oki, M. Veeraraghavan
– 11:00 Th.B4.3 Dynamic operation of an IP/MPLS-overWDM network using an open-source active stateful BGP-LS-enabled multilayer PCE, J-L. Izquierdo-Zaragoza, J-J. Pedreno-Manresa, P. Pavon-Marino, Ó. González de Dios, V. López
– 11:20 Th.B4.4 Network and datacenter resource orchestration strategies for mobile virtual networks over telco clouds, B. Martini, M. Gharbaoui, I. Cerutti, P. Castoldi
ACINO will give a talk at the ONOS+CORD Mini summit in Berlin on the 20th of June.
Our expert, Michele Santuari from CREATE-NET, will present a ONOS-based network orchestrator for IP/Optical networks, currently under development within the ACINO project. Michele will briefly discuss how the proposed orchestrator interacts with technology-specific controllers (e.g. for the optical domain) and single devices (e.g. for the IP domain) and will show how it can dynamically apply resiliency policies (i.e., IP or Optical restoration) in case of failure, based on high level constraints requested by the network operator.
See you in Berlin!!
We are glad to participate to the IEEE flagship conference NetSoft 2016 with a demonstration on “Policy-based Restoration in IP/Optical Transport Networks”!
Our expert, Roberto Doriguzzi from CREATE-NET, will present an IP/Optical SDN control solution for transport networks, the ACINO network orchestrator, which orchestrates IP or optical restoration based on the policy explicitly requested by the client application. Take your time to attend the demo and enjoy the presentation from Roberto!
Michele from CREATE-NET gave a talk entitled “Intent-based multi-layer IP/Optical networking” in which he described what has been done in the ACINO project to develop an open-source network orchestrator, starting from the ONOS packet-optical case. He then presented some relevant use-cases that demonstrate the capabilities of the developed tool.
Moreover, Michele lead a team joining the forces of ACINO and GÉANT (GN4-2) EU Projects for the ONOS Hackaton, a session in which experienced ONOS developers focus on hacking on and building features and applications on top of ONOS. The team is composed by experts of both projects (with CREATE-NET and ADVA from ACINO) and the proposed topic leverages the synergies of the two initiatives on the subject of orchestration of controllers. The team won the 3rd prize of the ONOS Hackathon!