Future trends and technologies in Mobile and Internet communications @ CFIC 2013

Future trends of Mobile and Internet Communications are revealed at the Conference on Future Internet Communications 2013 in Coimbra, Portugal. The many different speeches and talks show that Cloud Computing could play a major role in future Mobile Communication networks.

Alexander Sayenko explains future trends in 3GPP standardization.

Alexander Sayenko explains future trends in 3GPP standardization.

The first keynote speech of the Conference was held by Alexander Sayenko, researcher at Nokia Siemens Networks, where he is responsible for standardization activities of the 3GPP-specification. In his keynote speech he presented the new HetNet multicarrier solution for the enhancement of current mobile communication traffic. While mobile communication traffic is expected to grow exponentially for the next decade, very diverse requirements concerning reliability and mobility of IT services offer a major challenge to the telecommunication industry. In order to be able to handle the growing mobile traffic, widening the available radio spectrum breadth and enhancing spectral efficiency as well as offloading of communication data to clusters of mobile base stations should enhance capacity of current mobile networks. HetNet offers a solution to enhance the radio spectrum and use the radio spectrum more efficiently by meshing up multiple heterogenous access networks. The future trend in mobile communication is going towards managing heterogeneous network infrastructures since the new standards like LTE and HSPA+ are still not used broadly and will not likely replace older technologies as fast as expected by the mobile end users. While the number of mobile devices and applications grows rapidly, changes in the infrastructure of mobile communication providers are performed much more slowly. New standards in mobile communications are a necessity in order to avoid a situation where the network infrastructure becomes a bottleneck to the mobile communication market.

Bottleneck: low efficiency of current access networks

The message is clear: mobile networks should be used more efficiently. An efficiency gain could be provided by the use of Cloud Computing for mobile networks. Andreas Kassler, researcher at Karlstads University in Sweden, showed CloudMAC – a new approach on how to allow location-independent routing of mobile devices in Wireless networks without introducing additional routing protocol overhead like e. g. in the Mobile IP protocol. The solution is to source the routing logic from Wireless Termination Endpoints into a virtualized infrastructure like e. g. an OpenStack cloud. Such an approach shows that Cloud Computing could become very important for the development of more efficient mobile networks. Therefore projects like e. g. the Mobile Cloud Network at ICCLab can make mobile communication ready for the challenges of the next decade.

ICCLab: enhance Quality of Cloud Services

The ICCLab had also a chance to present the benefits of Cloud Services for future Internet communications. Konstantin Benz, researcher at ICCLab, presented different technologies for OpenStack which should enable High Availability. He also showed how the Chaos Monkey tool could be transformed in a test framework which can add HA readiness of OpenStack architectures. The ongoing research about Cloud Automation, Cloud Dependability, Cloud Interoperability, Cloud Monitoring and Cloud Performance at ICCLab improves the overall quality of Cloud Computing as a service. Therefore Cloud Computing offered by ICCLab is able

Dependability Modeling on OpenStack: Part 1

Dependability Modeling is carried out in 4 steps: model the user intercations, model the system functions, model the system services and then model the system components which make system services available. In the first part we will define which interactions could be expected from end users of the OpenStack cloud platform and construct the first part of the dependability graph. Once the dependapility model is constructed, a Dependability Analysis will be performed and several OpenStack HA architectures will be rated according to their outage risk.

Before we can define use cases for an OpenStack HA environment, we must first think about its Deployment Model. According to the Use Cases Whitepaper of the Open Cloud Manifesto, every cloud has its own use case scenario which depends on its “Cloud Deployment Model”. A Cloud Deployment Model is a method which describes the way how the cloud is deployed in an organizational context. The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published a definition paper which describes essential characteristics of cloud computing as well as possible types of Service and Deployment Models for cloud environments. According to the NIST definition of Cloud Computing, there are four types of Cloud Deployment Models:

  • Private Cloud: The cloud infrastructure is operated for one single organization inside that organization’s firewall. All data and processes are managed within the organization and are therefore not exposed to security issues, network bandwidth limitations or legal restrictions (in contrast to a Public Cloud).
  • Community Cloud: The cloud infrastructure is shared by several organizations and has the purpose to support a specific community of end users who have shared concerns. Typical Community Clouds are e. g. Googledocs, Facebook, Dropbox.
  • Public Cloud: The cloud infrastructure is made available to the general public and is owned by a cloud provider organization.
  • Hybrid Cloud: The cloud infrastructure is a composition of multiple other clouds (private, community or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together by technology that enables interoperability.

According to this definition, the MobileCloud Networking (MCN) infrastructure is rather a Hybrid Cloud. On one hand MCN is used as a Private Cloud for the Telcos to manage their infrastructure environment and handle peak loads or infrastructure-based network issues. On the other hand, the MCN is a Public Cloud for the Mobile End Users: they request communication services from the Telco sites, register and authenticate themselves and consume the communication service offered by the Telco. Mobile End Users produce the load on the Telco managed infrastructure. The MCN is deployed in an “Enterprise to Cloud to End User” scenario (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: Enterprise to Cloud to End User

Fig. 1: Enterprise to Cloud to End User

Typically the Enterprise to Cloud to End User Scenario requires the following features:

  • Identity Management: This is performed by the authentication services provided by the Telco. Authentication services run inside the virtual machines provided by OpenStack.
  • Use of an open client: Management of the cloud should not depend on a particular platform/technology. In OpenStack this is guaranteed by using the Horizon Dashboard.
  • Federated Identity Management: Identity of Telco users should also be managed in parallel to end users. In OpenStack Telco users are managed by the Keystone component. End users are authenticated in the virtual machines provided by the Telco.
  • Location awareness: Depending on the legal restrictions in the Telco industry, data of end users must be stored on particular physical servers. Therefore the cloud service must provide awareness of the location of end users.
  • Metering and monitoring: All cloud services must be metered for chargeback and provisioning. MCN uses a provisioning facility for this task.
  • Management and Governance: It is up to the Telcos to define Governance policies for the VMs managed by OpenStack. Policies and rules can be configured via Keystone.
  • Security: The OpenStack cloud network should be secured against unauthorized access. Security is a typical Keystone task.
  • Common File Format for VMs: The infrastructure of Telco organizations might be heterogenous. For reasons of interoperability the file format of VMs used in the MCN cloud should be interchangeable. Nova is the computation component of the OpenStack framework. Nova is technology-agnostic and therefore offers VM-interoperability between many different VM-systems like e. g. KVM, Xen, Virtualbox etc.
  • Common APIs for Cloud Storage and Middleware: OpenStack offers a common API for Cloud Storage: Images are stored and managed by the Glance component. All objects managed in the cloud are stored with the Swift API. Block storage is managed by Cinder.
  • Data Application and Federation: All cloud data must be federated in order to manage the cloud infrastructure. In OpenStack cloud data is managed by a MySQL server.
  • SLAs and Benchmarks: The OpenStack environment must fulfil SLAs with the end users as well as OLAs with the Telco itself. SLAs can be metered by the MCN provisioning facility.
  • Lifecycle Management: The lifecycle of VMs must be managed also in the MCN infrastructure. Lifecycle Management is also a task of Nova component.

If we follow the list of requirements we can define use cases for the OpenStack environment of the MobileCloud Network (Tab.1). The result is a list of use cases which define the user interactions with the OpenStack cloud.

Tab. 1: Use Cases for an OpenStack environment.

Tab. 1: Use Cases for an OpenStack environment.

Modeling the user interactions is the first step in Dependability Modeling. In order to get a full Dependability Model of the OpenStack environment we must investigate the functions and services which make the user interactions available. A further post will show how this is done.

MobileCloud Networking GA Meeting in Palermo

What happens when a group of experts from the Cloud Computing space and the Mobile/Telco industry get together in a meeting room? Last week the first General Assembly Meeting for the MobileCloud Networking (MCN) project was held in Palermo, with over thirty experts joining forces for four days to deliver an excellent result. The ICCLab was present as one of the contributing partners and technical leader of the project.

After a rocky start (or better, a rocky landing) on Monday evening, the GA meeting started on Tuesday morning with an overview of the project and an open discussion about issues related to dissemination and publications. After lunch the group split into two to discuss the  use case scenarios for the MCN project and to start working on the requirements.


On Wednesday the day started with an overview of the status of the different Work Packages, to continue then with a series of ‘deep dive’ sessions, exploring some of the technologies that will be used in the MCN project. The first session MobileCloud Infrastructural Foundations technologies, such as OpenStack, cloud monitoring and RAN virtualisation. The day ended with a pleasant tour of the city of Palermo and with a great sicilian dinner.

On Thursday morning the ‘deep dive’ sessions were resumed, with interesting talks about the Mobile Core Network components and different options to ‘cloudify’ them. In the afternoon the Mobile Platform session took place, with topics varying from IMS-as-a-Service and digital signage to SLA and Charging&Billing. Then, after a long session on Thursday night, the overall architecture was presented on Friday morning, including a deep overview of the OpenStack components. The GA meeting ended over lunch, before all the participants made their way home.

Overall it has been a great meeting with extremely competent partners and very well organised by the MCN partner Italtel. The next MCN GA Meeting will be held in Paris in June/July.

More information about the MobileCloud Networking project can be found here.


CFP – 1st international Workshop on Mobile Cloud Networking (MCN 2013)

1st international Workshop on Mobile Cloud Networking (MCN 2013)


Organized in conjunction with IEEE International Communications Conference (ICC 2013) 9-13 June 2013, Budapest, Hungary.

The workshop will address the integration of two technologies that are  expected to have significant impact in the ICT area for the next 
decade(s): next generation mobile communication networks (mainly 4G)  and cloud computing. While mobile communication networks have been 
established decades ago and are still continuously evolving, cloud  computing became a hot topic in recent years and is expected to have 
significantly impact on novel applications as well as on ICT  infrastructures.

Cloud computing and mobile communication networks have been considered separate from each other in the past. However, there are various 
possible synergies between them. First, access to cloud storage and computing service via wireless/mobile networks should be optimized in 
terms of delay, bandwidth and energy consumption from an end user perspective. Second, there is an increasing trend to implement more 
and more functions of a mobile communication network in software, e.g., for signal and protocol processing. This enables the use of 
cloud computing infrastructures as processing platforms for signal and protocol processing of mobile communication networks, in particular 
for current (4G) and future (5G) generation networks. In particular, the integration of protocol and application/service processing enables 
several opportunities to optimize performance of cloud applications and services observed by the mobile user, whose device is connected to 
the cloud via wireless access networks. The workshop will discuss emerging technologies in cloud computing and mobile communication 
networks. Moreover, it will focus on possible integration scenarios and synergies between them.

The workshop solicits original contributions in the topics of interest for the workshop. Those topics include but are not limited to the following:
- Protocols and wireless network technologies for mobile cloud applications
- Network virtualization for mobile cloud networks
- Energy-saving at mobile end systems in network elements supporting 
mobile cloud applications
- Distributed mobility management, including mobility prediction
- Future Internet architectures and protocols for mobile cloud 
computing, including content-centric / context-based networking
- Network and protocol support for delay-tolerant applications
- Cloud computing in opportunistic networks
- Management and allocation of mobile cloud resources, including SLA 
- Cloud service management and migration
- Seamless handover support for mobile cloud applications
- Resource and service monitoring in mobile cloud networks
- Physical radio resource sharing
- End-to-end performance of mobile cloud applications
- Novel cloud-based implementation architectures for mobile 
communication networks
- Quality-of-Experience in mobile cloud applications
- Cloud-based applications and services for mobile users, including 
social networks
- (Participatory) sensing and mobile cloud applications, including 
data aggregation
- Security and privacy issues of mobile cloud computing, including 
authentication and authorization
- Accounting and charging of mobile cloud services
- Testbeds and performance evaluation for mobile cloud networking and 

Workshop Chairs:
- Torsten Braun
- Luis M. Correia
- Georgios Karagiannis
- Edmundo Monteiro
- Almerima Jamakovic

Important Dates:
- Registration of abstract: January 4, 2013
- Manuscript submission: January 11, 2013
- Acceptance Notification: February 22, 2013
- Camera-ready: March 8, 2013

Submission Procedure:
Paper length should not exceed five-pages standard IEEE conference 
two-column format (including all text, figures, and references). You 
may use the standard IEEE Transactions templates for Microsoft Word or 
LaTeX. Alternatively you can follow the IEEE Communications Society's 
guidelines for attendees and authors. Only PDF files are accepted for 

To submit the paper, use the EDAS online submission system. All 
submitted papers will go through a peer review process. All accepted 
and presented papers will be included in the IEEE ICC 2013 
proceedings. IEEE reserves the right to exclude an accepted and 
registered but not presented paper from the IEEE digital library. 
Extended versions of selected best papers will be recommended for 
publication in Special Issues of prestigious International Journal.