Agile Networks


The objective of the project is the creation of new solutions and new innovative products and, in particular:

  • a distributed NFV infrastructure solution;
  • an innovative platform for enabling communication services, or “value enablement” platform;
  • an innovative platform for the creation of new services, or “value creation” platform;
  • a new control and management platform (“network automation”) which allows full automation in the management and orchestration of network services

The objectives of the project relate both to the technological field, taking as reference the evolution of new network solutions, new architectures and new management methods in an agile and flexible way, and to the application field, taking into consideration the new services of communication that can be created or the redefinition of existing services on new architectures.

The project therefore develops on the basis of experimentation with new network architectures based on “network softwarization” and in this new context the possibility is offered to identify and experiment with new ways of implementing “real time communication” and “contextual communication” services.

Italtel for the development of the Network Automation Platform, whose reference architecture is described in the figure above, took into account the objectives listed below of the network orchestration component which includes the “service orchestration” part and of the Italtel Neutral VNFM product:

  • Management & orchestration “end to end” solutions.
  • Modus operating in end-to-end mode in hybrid environments and therefore on multiple management domains: legacy network nodes, SDN domain, NFV domain. In the case of the NFV domain, the automation of the life cycle of network functions and services is envisaged with the NFV MANO framework (NFV Orchestration/Neutral VNMF/VIM).
  • Creation of an abstraction layer that enables the integration of business and management processes with a holistic, open and modular approach
  • Possible integrations with higher management levels both in the case of legacy OSS/BSS currently in operation and in the case of new generation systems.
  • Implementation of an “intent-based” and “model-driven” approach, i.e. based on the ability to translate the request for a specific behavior of the network into specific directives to be applied on the infrastructure.

The platform developed by Italtel:

  1. includes the functions: [Assurance, Fulfillment, Active Inventory relating to the “Service Inventory” and the “Resource InventoryManagement in the multi-tenant environment with the availability of centralized control panels (dashboard), Data Analytics capable of obtaining information on network operating modes, Autonomic management for the management of the NFV and SDN components, Cognitive management for the management of the NFV and SDN components thanks to Machine Learning techniques to define control actions, Security Management in order to protect the network and services detecting possible unauthorized intrusions, DoS/DDos attacks, privacy violation, etc..]
  2. integrates the functions: [Active / passive monitoring tending to provide indications on the QoS or QoE provided by the network for real time communication and video streaming applications (latency, packet loss), Control of the SLAs which contractually define the QoS that a user has requested for the applications used, Usage metering and charging in the NFV area
  3. enables DevOps mode for application management with the aim of introducing new automatic ways for application lifecycle management

Italtel for the development of the Intelligent Policy Management application platform shown above in the reference architecture, has achieved the following objectives:

  • provide “Network management” functions capable of enabling new services taking into account the different types of service and the different characteristics and needs in terms of quality, requirements relating to latency, available bandwidth, etc.
  • integrate “Network Management” functions aimed at guaranteeing the network requirements necessary for the development and diffusion of MTC (Machine Type Communication) services linked to the development of “Smart Cities” or in general to applications of the “Internet of Things” or related to the factory of the future or “Industry 4.0”
  • integrate “Network Management” functions capable of guaranteeing the robustness, integrity and security of network services and provide the possibility of guaranteeing the negotiated “Service Level Agreements”.
  • integrate functions for “Network Virtualization” and “Network Programmability” within the ITALTEL SDN Application Layer in which the convergence between the needs of network services and networking resources is achieved.

Italtel has also developed an NSO based on the VNF lifecycle functionalities of the ITL VNF Manager due to the lack of availability of an Open Source with network service orchestrator functions.
  • Call
    AD.4 Technologies for the innovation of virtualisation of platforms, infrastructures and digital services (Advanced Cloud Infrastructures and Services)
  • Duration
    42 months (30 months + 12 months extension)
  • Overall budget
    13 M€
Network Automation Platform
ITL Leaderships:

Only participiant

ITL Technical Contributions:
  • Italtel’s Neutral VNFM product implements the Virtual Network Functions Manager (VNFM) function for the management of Italtel and/or other suppliers’ VNFs.
  • Application platform for the implementation of Network Automation solutions for the automatic management of Telco networks and services, using the end-to-end orchestration of network functions in the field of NFV Management. The platform includes “Network Orchestration” and “Intelligent Policy Management” functions.

For the Agile Networks project, Italtel has developed a series of Use Cases:

  • UC Prediction: Collection of performance metrics from network devices of Italtel’s NetMatch-S Cloud Inside product, graphical data analysis and traffic prediction
  • UC Diagnostic: Collection of performance metrics from network devices relating to Italtel’s NetMatch-S Cloud Inside product and diagnostic process
  • UC Management of SLA control for an International TSP based on Data Analytics techniques: for detecting network traffic and using Blockchain technology for shared management of SLA control between the International Service Provider (TSP) and the Carriers (customers) that route or receive traffic to and from the TSP.
Main objectives
  • Application platform for network orchestration solutions.
  • Application platform for the creation of “Intelligent Policy Management” solutions.
  • Italtel’s Network Services Orchestrator for managing network reconfiguration based on the “orders” (input) that come from Policy Management applications, thus creating an orchestration tool for network services geographically distributed on separate DCs