Visible to the public KLEIN: A Minimally Disruptive Design for an Elastic Cellular Core

TitleKLEIN: A Minimally Disruptive Design for an Elastic Cellular Core
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsQazi, Zafar Ayyub, Penumarthi, Phani Krishna, Sekar, Vyas, Gopalakrishnan, Vijay, Joshi, Kaustubh, Das, Samir R.
Conference NameProceedings of the Symposium on SDN Research
Conference LocationNew York, NY, USA
ISBN Number978-1-4503-4211-7
KeywordsMiddlebox, network function virtualization, network management, pubcrawl170201, software-defined networking

Today's cellular core, which connects the radio access network to the Internet, relies on fixed hardware appliances placed at a few dedicated locations and uses relatively static routing policies. As such, today's core design has key limitations--it induces inefficient provisioning tradeoffs and is poorly equipped to handle overload, failure scenarios, and diverse application requirements. To address these limitations, ongoing efforts envision "clean slate" solutions that depart from cellular standards and routing protocols; e.g., via programmable switches at base stations and per-flow SDN-like orchestration. The driving question of this work is to ask if a clean-slate redesign is necessary and if not, how can we design a flexible cellular core that is minimally disruptive. We propose KLEIN, a design that stays within the confines of current cellular standards and addresses the above limitations by combining network functions virtualization with smart resource management. We address key challenges w.r.t. scalability and responsiveness in realizing KLEIN via backwards-compatible orchestration mechanisms. Our evaluations through data-driven simulations and real prototype experiments using OpenAirInterface show that KLEIN can scale to billions of devices and is close to optimal for wide variety of traffic and deployment parameters.

Citation Keyqazi_klein:_2016