Extensible framework for elastic orchestration of service function chains in 5G networks
With the evolution towards the Fifth Generation of Mobile Communications (5G), Software-based Networks are paving the way to a radical transformation of Network Operators infrastructures. Novel technologies like Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) and Software Defined Network (SDN) are enabling new way of managing on-demand network resources. Focusing on the Mobile Core Network architecture, Service Function Chaining (SFC) is foreseen to be the solution for dynamically routing traffic across multiple Service Functions (SFs) residing in the SGi-Local Area Network (LAN). The SFC architectural model has been proposed by the IETF SFC Working Group, and several activities in the open source community have been proposed as prototype solutions. However, none of the existing works covers most of the required functionalities of an SFC Orchestrator, i.e. lifecycle management, in a single and extensible framework. This paper proposes X-FORCE, an extensible framework for orchestrating SFCs elastically while considering the management and orchestration of the lifecycle of SFCs. X-FORCE is compliant to the the ETSI NFV MANO architectural model and IETF SFC architecture. Two distinct SGi-LAN use cases have been selected for evaluating the proposed solution. The results confirm X-FORCE capability of enhancing the overall network QoS performances while maintaining the available resources in Network Operators' infrastructures.