Orchestration of Network Services Across Multiple Operators: The 5G Exchange Prototype
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Future 5G networks will rely on the coordinated allocation of compute, storage, and networking resources in order to meet the functional requirements of 5G services as well as guaranteeing efficient usage of the network infrastructure. However, the 5G service provisioning paradigm will also require a unified infrastructure service market that integrates multiple operators and technologies. The 5G Exchange (5GEx) project, building heavily on the Software-Defined Network (SDN) and the Network Function Virtualization (NFV) functionalities, tries to overcome this market and technology fragmentation by designing, implementing, and testing a multi-domain orchestrator (MdO) prototype for fast and automated Network Service (NS) provisioning over multiple-technologies and spanning across multiple operators. This paper presents a first implementation of the 5GEx MdO prototype obtained by extending existing open source software tools at the disposal of the 5GEx partners. The main functions of the 5GEx MdO prototype are showcased by demonstrating how it is possible to create and deploy NSs in the context of a Slice as a Service (SlaaS) use-case, based on a multi-operator scenario. The 5GEx MdO prototype performance is experimentally evaluated running validation tests within the 5GEx sandbox. The overall time required for the NS deployment has been evaluated considering NSs deployed across two operators.