CONEXT 2021, 17th International Conference on Emerging Networking EXperiments and Technologies, 7-10 December 2021, Munich, Germany (Virtual Conference)
Unlike previous mobile networks, 5G New Radio (5G-NR) provides unprecedented flexibility in the radio access network (RAN) to support diverse use cases in a multi-tenant environment. In this context, the need for programmability and control through software-defined radio access networking (SD-RAN) is well established. While the
underlying RAN is designed to be ultra flexible and lean, existing SD-RAN controllers are either not flexible to address all use cases or use a one-size-fits-all approach.
In this paper, we present FlexRIC, a flexible and efficient software development kit (SDK) that enables to build specialized serviceoriented controllers. FlexRIC has a modular architecture with minimal footprint and is designed with extensibility in mind.
We validate the SDK building concrete implementations of two specialized controllers for state-of-the-art 5G use cases: (1) a recursive RAN controller that virtualizes the network to allow multiple tenants to concurrently control and operate their services in
a shared infrastructure over the heterogeneous landscape of 5G networks, and (2) an SD-RAN controller providing programmability for multi-radio access technology (RAT) RAN slicing, and flow-based traffic control targeting low-latency communications. The results reveal that FlexRIC reduces the round-trip time by two while incurring 83 % less CPU compared with O-RAN’s reference implementation, and uses 10x less CPU and one third of the memory when compared to FlexRAN. Such performance is required to unleash the potential of emerging 5G use cases.
Systèmes de Communication
© ACM, 2021. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in CONEXT 2021, 17th International Conference on Emerging Networking EXperiments and Technologies, 7-10 December 2021, Munich, Germany (Virtual Conference) http://doi.org/10.1145/3485983.3494870