ECONET (low Energy COnsumption NETworks) project is a 3-year IP project (running from October 2010 to September 2013) co-funded by the European Commission under the Framework Programme 7 (FP7), addressing the Strategic Objective ICT-2009.1.1 “The Network of the Future”.
The ECONET project aims at studying and exploiting dynamic adaptive technologies (based on standby and performance scaling capabilities) for wired network devices that allow saving energy when a device (or part of it) is not used.
The project will be devoted to re-thinking and re-designing wired network equipment and infrastructures towards more energy-sustainable and eco-friendly technologies and perspectives.
Enabling the reduction of energy requirements of wired network equipment by 50%
As the Future Internet is taking shape, it is therefore recognized that, among other basic concepts and key aspects, energy efficiency should pervade the network infrastructure as a whole to such extent as to become part of the network design criteria and to carry across multiple networking domains for the achievement of a general target. There are two main motivations that drive the quest for green networking: environmental one, related to the reduction of wastes and impact on CO2 emissions, and the economic one, stemming from the need of operators to reduce the cost of keeping the network up and running at the desired service level, while counterbalancing the ever-increasing cost of energy.
The overall idea is to introduce novel green network-specific paradigms and concepts enabling the reduction of energy requirements of wired network equipment by 50% in the short to mid-term (and by 80% in the long run).
To this end, the main challenge will be to design, develop and test novel technologies, integrated control criteria and mechanisms for network equipment enabling energy saving by adapting network capacities and resources to current traffic loads and user requirements, while ensuring end-to-end Quality of Service.
Therefore, this project aims at exploring a coordinated set of approaches and concepts to deliver novel solutions and technologies for reducing the carbon footprint of next generation infrastructures for telecommunication networks. Thanks to the presence of major manufacturing companies, telecoms, and ISPs, ECONET will propose its innovative technologies to standardization bodies for extending in the green direction the next generation network and Future Internet architectures and protocols.
Nowadays, it is widely recognized that the sole introduction of low consumption silicon elements may not be sufficient to effectively curb tomorrow’s network energy requirements.
Based on this assumption, the ECONET project will investigate, develop and test new capabilities for the Future Internet devices that can enable the efficient management of power consumption so to strongly reduce the current network energy waste.
The ECONET project will, therefore, be devoted at re-thinking and re-designing wired network equipment and infrastructures towards more energy-sustainable and eco-friendly technologies and perspectives. The overall idea is to introduce novel green network-specific paradigms and concepts enabling the reduction of energy requirements of wired network equipment by 50% in the short to mid-term (and by 80% in the long run) with respect to the business-as-usual scenario.
To this end, the main challenge will be to design, develop and test novel technologies, integrated control criteria and mechanisms for network equipment enabling energy saving bydynamically adapting network capacities and resources to current traffic loads and user requirements, while ensuring end-to-end Quality of Service.
The ECONET project will address such challenge, by focusing its research and development efforts along three main research axes, namely:
In the first axis, novel network-specific capabilities will be investigated and developed to optimize the power management features (e.g. standby and power scaling primitives). Research activities will cover several HW/FW (and related) technologies and network device typologies (e.g. home-gateway, DSLAM, switches, routers) in order to explore specific energy-saving solutions and techniques with respect to legacy and future HW and network requirements.
The second research axis will investigate the design and development of local and distributed frameworks for energy-efficient flexible and cognitive network OAM, with the aim to enable dynamic, scalable, ad-hoc optimized resource allocation in terms of the trade-off between energy consumption and network performance, as well as differentiated performance, fault-tolerance, and robustness levels.
The third axis, the Green Abstraction Layer will focus on the development of a standard and general purpose interface for exposing and controlling the novel green capabilities and functionalities, realized with different typologies of network equipment and of HW technologies, towards general purpose OAM frameworks. This research axis will be the key for the integration and the development of energy-aware device prototype platforms, including both data-plane green capabilities and control strategies, for project dissemination, demonstration and proof-of-concept activities. Moreover, it will lead to the definition of novel device internal standards for managing and monitoring energy and performance profiles.
The ECONET project will ultimately deliver a significant number of novel energy-aware device prototypes (representing all the different aggregation and logical levels of a real large-scale network), on which large-scale experimental simulations and tests will be conducted. With a significant dissemination effort, the project will aim at maximizing the impact of project results on industrial and network operator communities as well as on standardization bodies, thus bridging the gap between long-term research and industrial deployment.
The inability of Highly-Distributed-Application-Developers to foresee the changes as well as the heterogeneity on the underlying infrastructure impose a great challenge. The design and development of novel software paradigms that facilitate application developers taking advantage of the emerging programmability of the underlying infrastructure are crucial making the development of Reconfigurable-by-Design applications a necessity. In parallel, it is crucial to design solutions that are scalable, support high performance, resilient-to-failure and take into account the conditions of their runtime environment. Towards this direction, the ARCADIA project aims to design and validate a Novel Reconfigurable-By-Design Highly Distributed Applications Development Paradigm over Programmable Infrastructure.
The ARCADIA framework relies on the development of an extensible Context Model which will be used by developers directly at the source-code level. Proper Context-Model will be assisted and validated by IDE-plugins (for many IDEs) in order to re-assure that the generated executable files contain meaningful semantics. According to ARCADIA’s vision, the generated executables should be on-boarded by a Smart Controller which will undertake the tasks of translating annotations to the optimal infrastructural configuration. Such a controller will enforce an optimal configuration to the registered programmable resources and will pro-actively adjust the configuration plan based on the Infrastructural State and the Application State. The Context-Model and the aforementioned ARCADIA toolset will be complemented by a Development Methodology that will assure that developed Highly Distributed Applications are Reconfigurable-By-Design.The framework is planned to be validated and evaluated on three use cases that will be deployed over testbeds that host heterogeneous programmable infrastructure.
The framework is planned to be validated and evaluated on three use cases that will be deployed over test-beds that host heterogeneous programmable infrastructure.
The INPUT Project aims to contribute to the evolution of the Internet “brain” beyond current limitations due to obsolete IP network paradigms, by moving cloud services much closer to end-users and smart-devices. This evolution will be accomplished by introducing intelligence and flexibility (“in-network” programmability) into network edge devices, and by enabling them to host cloud applications (Service_Apps) capable of cooperating with and of offloading corresponding applications residing in the users’ smart objects (User_Apps) and in data centers (DC_Apps), to realize innovative personal cloud services. The conceptual approach of the INPUT Project, including the Service_Apps operating at the edge network level, is shown in the figure below.
The presence of such Service_Apps will allow user requests to be manipulated before crossing the network and arriving at data centers in ways that enhance performance. Such manipulations can include pre-processing, decomposition and proxying. Moreover, the Service_Apps will take advantage of a vertical integration in the network environment, where applications can benefit from network-cognitive capabilities to intercept traffic or to directly deal with network setup configurations and parameters. The integration of Service_Apps at the network edge level is a fundamental aspect, since this level is the one where the Telecom Operator terminates the user network access, and a direct trusting/control on user accounts and services is performed. Therefore, this level is the best candidate to host personal Service_Apps and to provide novel network-integrated capabilities to the cloud environment in a secure and trusted fashion. To achieve this purpose, the INPUT Project will also focus on the evolution of network devices acting at this level beyond the latest state-of-the-art Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) technologies, and on how to interface them with the in-network programmability. This approach will reduce the reaction times of cloud applications, by exploiting the ability to directly access network primitives, and by providing improved scalability in the interactions of the network with users and datacenters.
The INPUT Project will design a multi-layered framework that will allow, on the one hand, multiple Personal Cloud Providers to request IT (e.g., in terms of computing, storage, caching, etc.) and network resources of the Telecom Infrastructure Provider via an extended Service Layer Agreement. On the other hand, in order to minimize the OPEX and increase the sustainability of its programmable network infrastructure, the Telecom Infrastructure Provider will make use of advanced Consolidation criteria that will allow Service_Apps to be dynamically allocated and seamlessly migrated/split/joined on a subset of the available hardware resources. The unused hardware components will enter low-power standby states. The presence of these power management criteria and schemes is a key aspect for maximizing the return on investment of the INPUT technology to Telecom Infrastructure Providers.
The INPUT architecture will also provide additional degrees of freedom and ground-breaking capabilities to design innovative personal cloud services, which can be substituted for (and/or can integrate the hardware capabilities of) smart objects usually placed in users’ homes (e.g., set-top-boxes, network-attached storage servers, etc.). This will be achieved using “virtual images” of these objects, making them always and everywhere available to users through a virtual personal network. These virtual images will obviously contribute in providing services to end-users in a cheaper way, avoiding the costs of buying physical smart objects and enabling the continuous evolution of object performance and capabilities. On the other hand, the presence of the virtual personal network will give users the perception of a familiar personal environment with well-known legacy network and application protocol interfaces (e.g., Samba folder sharing and DLNA– Digital Living Network Alliance – streaming from a NAS server) usually applied in the home Local Area Networks (LANs). In this respect, Personal Networks have to provide the same perceived levels of security, privacy, and trust as in today’s home networks and have to expose these primitives to overlying cloud services.
In order to achieve the aforementioned architecture and overlaying proof-of-concept services, the INPUT Research & Innovation approach will be organized along three complementary research axis, namely Smart Network Programmability Support, Network and Service Abstraction and Virtualization Interfaces, and Smart Personal Cloud Services.