Pushing boundaries of software-defined networks toward next generation of 5G. EIT Digital’s director of research, Fabio Pianesi, introduces SoftFIRE, a programme designed to push the boundaries of software-defined networks and network function virtualisation toward the next generation of 5G networks
SoftFIRE, a programme designed to push the boundaries of software-defined networks (SDNs) and network function virtualisation (NFV) toward the next generation of 5G networks, has been established by a partnership of European telecoms providers and leading research organisations. Led by EIT Digital (a leading European digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organisation driving Europe’s digital transformation), SoftFIRE is establishing a federation of four experimental SDN/NFV test beds, which will allow for testing and demonstrating how to deliver and operate a reliable, secure and programmable SDN/NFV network.
Portal asked EIT Digital’s director of research, Fabio Pianesi, about the importance of both the test bed and of creating a large ecosystem of companies operating in the field in order to nurture and sustain a European path to future network evolution.
Could you begin by telling me a little about the background to SoftFIRE and the current context in which it will fit?
SoftFIRE is a Horizon 2020-funded project, and the technical areas we are tackling relate to the integration of different types of test beds, in particular SDN and NFV test beds, which are then used by industry. We are not developing new test beds but setting up a federation of four experimental SDN/NFV test beds.
From a technical point of view, one of the main issues concerns their interoperability; we want to ensure that they can be utilised by anyone who wishes to use them. Alongside this, of course, there are also security concerns, and we are working to guarantee that the test beds are secure.Furthermore, programmability is also an area we are exploring