The problem

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 will be to materialize 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

Expected outcomes

The NECOS project will produce a set of Demonstrators released with an Open Software license. Each of these demonstrators presents different scenarios making use of the NECOS architecture components, namely the LSDC platform, the Marketplace and the Resource Provider

  • The LSDC platform

    This is the main outcome of the NECOS project. The LSDC accepts service provider requests for service deployment and triggers the process of allocation of the service to an existing slice or creates a new slice in case that it is necessary. The LSDC platform confers the Slice Provider role to his owner

    The LSDC platform is constituted by two main components, namely the Resource Slice Orchestrator (RSO) and the Infrastructure & Monitoring Abstraction (IMA)

  • The Marketplace

The Marketplace is the enabler for the resource providers to bring their resource offers and participate with other resource providers supporting different slices. On the other hand, it is also the enabler of the Slice Providers for selecting the most appropriate resources for creating and maintaining the slices. The Marketplace is constituted by the Slice Broker and the Slice Agents at the site of each resource provider

  • The Resource Provider

The Resource Provider system enables resource providers to participate with their resources in the creation and maintenance of slices. Resource providers can be classified into Edge Data Center slice providers, Cloud Data Center slice providers and Network providers, depending on the nature of their resources. The main building blocs of the Resource Provider are the Slice Controller and the Slice Monitoring Agent