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eSDN Project


The research project Extending SDN for Dynamic Management of Heterogeneous and Multidomain Networks (eSDN) is a granted project of the Spanish's Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad through the National Programme for Fostering Excellence in Scientific and Technical Research, Sub-Programme for Knowledge Generation. This is a collaborative project coordinated by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), and developed in collaboration with the Universidad del Pais Vasco Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU) and the i2CAT Foundation (i2CAT).


4G wireless access networks, along with those based on fiber and the backbone networks that interconnect them, allow users to be connected anywhere, anytime. The huge bandwidth of these networks stimulates the emergence of new services and innovative modes of communication, which has resulted in a large increase in both traffic volume and the complexity of its patterns.

The security and quality of service requirements of these applications, as well as the heterogeneous nature (regarding technology and architecture) of existing networks, pose a great challenge for the provision, operation and management of networks and services, which the currently available tools can hardly meet. The need to improve network performance and management, necessary to support next-generation services and the associated traffic demand, is even more remarkable in the current framework of competition and shrinking margins, where the deployment and operation costs are becoming unsustainable even for large operators.

In recent years there have been contributions in the fields of federation, virtualization, and decoupling of network control and data planes (OpenFlow). Under the common umbrella of the Software Defined Networking (SDN) paradigm, these new technologies will not only optimize network management but also foster the introduction of new added-value services, and will reduce CAPEX and OPEX. In this sense, the new trends are focused towards the provision based on virtualization of the elements of the service chain (NSC) and of the network functions (NFV). Standardization bodies such as ONF, ETSI or ITU are already defining architectures and interfaces in that direction. The scientific community is proposing SDN-based algorithms for the operation, optimization and management, and some commercial products are already available. However, these advances are still immature developments, focus on very specific environments and small, homogeneous networks, and are hardly scalable to carrier-grade networks.

eSDN project aims at developing and evaluating new mechanisms to efficiently manage multidomain, heterogeneous networks (access and core, fixed and mobile) and optimize its performance, under the SDN paradigm.