VITAL-5G Platform and Assets
High-level architecture of the VITAL-5G
The high-level architecture of the VITAL-5G system consists of three main segments:
- VITAL-5G Platform, which is used by all VITAL-5G users, including the 3rd party experimenters, to access the testbed resources, design Network Applications, and deploy them on different. It provides the various users with unified access to all the VITAL-5G experimentation services.
- 5G testbeds, which deliver a 5G network infrastructure with virtual computing capabilities and SDN/NFV technologies in three different types of T&L facilities. Using the testbeds, VITAL-5G users can run their experiments and trials in realistic environments and interact with real equipment.
- T&L infrastructure, which combines T&L equipment from the shipping and warehouse sectors, such as vessels in the case of Antwerp and Galati trial sites, Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) in the case of the Athens trial site, onboard sensors, cameras, and 5G communication setups that enable connectivity between T&L infrastructure and Network Applications running on the 5G testbeds.
The VITAL-5G Platform has been designed to enable experimentation services for internal and external users (3rd party experimenters), with different profiles and access rights, providing functionalities and features customized for the various levels of expertise of the planned user categories. In particular, the access to the VITAL-5G experimentation services should be facilitated and simplified following a vertical-driven perspective but providing additional options for enhanced configurability, programmability and flexibility in 5G network configuration and service management.
The VITAL-5G Platform is structured in two main components, i.e., the VITAL-5G Portal backend and the VITAL-5G Catalogue, whose north-bound interfaces (NBI) allow the VITAL-5G users to securely access the authorized VITAL-5G services in a programmable manner, mostly via REST APIs.
On its south-bound interface (SBI), the VITAL-5G Platform interacts with the three VITAL-5G testbeds. In particular, this interface mediates the interaction with the following components of VITAL-5G testbeds:
- the management system of 5G networks (5G Slice management and inventory)
- the NFV MANO platforms for onboarding and provisioning/management of Network Applications and vertical services (Orchestrator catalogue and Orchestrator Lifecycle Manager – LCM)
- the monitoring platforms for collection, storage and exposure of metrics and KPIs related to 5G network, edge/cloud computing infrastructure and vertical applications or services (Monitoring).
The capabilities that the Vital-5G platform offers to 3rd party experimenters
The capabilities that the Vital-5G platform offers to 3rd party experimenters are the following:
- Facilitating the deployment of vertical service in the 5G network: To deploy their vertical services on the 5G SA infrastructure and start with experimentation, 3rd party experimenters only need to be aware of their network requirements and hardware dependency.
- Multi-platform edge computing for scalable and secure vertical services: 3rd parties can deploy their Network Applications and vertical services over multi-platform edge environments, embedding security, high-availability, and autoscaling functionalities, with support for VM and container-based applications and offering specialized hardware capabilities.
- Full orchestration across IoT, mobile network & edge domains: 3rd parties can focus on their SW application logic, with Vital-5G platform handles the complexity of orchestrating together network and edge resources and enabling secure and unified access to IoT devices on the field.
- Open catalogue of re-usable Network Applications to quickly build new services: Open and documented interfaces, extreme modularity, common design patterns, usage of open-source SW tools. Relying on these design principles, Vital-5G Network Applications can be easily re-used, extended, customized and combined together to build new services.
- Network Application blueprints, templates, open datasets and SW libraries to drive the development of new applications: Vital-5G catalogue is open to host new Network Applications to be shared in the community. Our asset of blueprints, templates, atomic SW components and libraries, T&L datasets and AI/ML tools provides a comprehensive starting kit to develop new 5G applications.
- Enhanced network performance by utilizing network slicing: 3rd party experimenters can utilize the available slices from the Vital-5G testbeds when deploying their vertical services. In particular, the Vital-5G platform is reading the minimum network performance requirements specified in the previous step, and it accommodates the service with the required network and service quality.
- Real-time monitoring of network and service performance: As soon as the service is launched, experimenters can start collecting performance metrics in real time (network, service, infrastructure, and platform).
- Advanced failure diagnostics: The Vital-5G platform incorporates advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) processes to diagnose failures that happen during the service runtime. The output of such services provides more insights into how the vertical service performed and what are the reasons for service termination.