The problem addressed

Cloud Computing is a paradigm already established to support the deployment of applications and services without the need to rely on costly on premise infrastructures. A unique service provider sometimes owns the data centers supporting the cloud, but there is a trend to a fully distributed architecture, where several data center providers will have to cooperate through the interconnection of their computation and storage infrastructure. The interconnection network is a fundamental part in the performance of such a distributed cloud environment. As different services require different computing and storage capabilities, they also require different performance parameters related to the network, like bandwidth, delay or jitter. Allocating resources from different data centers and their interconnecting network systems to satisfy the needs of heterogeneous service requests and all in an automated and efficient manner is a challenge that current cloud computing platforms are not able to fulfill

The NECOS solution

In this project, we consider that computation, storage and networking resources have to be considered as a whole to be allocated to service requests. Each service request has to be satisfied irrespectively of other requests arrived in the past and those that can come in the future. Handling each service as something that is independent of others, but at the same time sharing the same substrate infrastructure, drives us to the concept of virtualization. Virtualization is assumed to be applied to target resources of any type, so that allowing to allocate e-virtual resources to heterogeneous service requests. The set of virtual resources that will enable a service to be deployed fulfilling its specific requirements over time, as it were the only existing one in a given computation and networking infrastructure, gives rise to the Lightweight Slice Defined Cloud (LSDC) concept coined in NECOS. The innovation of NECOS consists of materialising the LSCD concept by means of a platform exhibiting the following four distinguishing characteristics:

Characteristic 1

Slice as a Service. A new slicing business model. Grouping of resources from different resource providers are managed as a whole to accommodate service components on top of each slice, independently of other slices.


Characteristic 2

Embedded methods for an optimal allocation of resources to slices in the cloud and networking infrastructure, to respond to the dynamic changes of the various service demands

Characteristic 3

A Management and Orchestration approach making use of methods and artificial intelligence techniques in order to tackle with the complexity of large-scale virtualized infrastructure environments

Characteristic 4

Making reality the lightweight principle, in terms of small footprint components deployable on large number of small network and cloud devices at the edges of the network

The NECOS project outcomes

The NECOS system architecture is one of the main project outputs towards infrastructure slicing to provide Slice as a Service as established in the project objectives and fulfilling the specifications presented in Deliverable D2.2. A detailed description of this architecture is provided in Deliverable D3.2

Tenants, Slice Providers and Infrastructure Providers interact with the NECOS Architecture on the basis of an established Information Model and APIs. A detailed description of the Information Model and the different designed APIs can be found in Deliverable D4.2

The NECOS System Architecture has been implemented in a set of software components duly integrated in a Platform Architecture. The functionality and detailed design of the NECOS Platform components is provided in Deliverable D5.2

The NECOS solution has been tested by means of the NECOS Platform in different scenarios. Detailed description of the tests and testing scenarios is provided in Deliverable D6.2. In addition, the prototypes used in these tests have been released under an open software license. These prototypes can be downloaded, with additional information in text and video formats, from the page Demonstrators of this web site

The NECOS White Paper presents a more detailed description of project outcomes in the context of beyond 5G systems