Empowered by NFV/SDN, network slicing can enable the deployment of network services tailored to the needs of vertical service providers. Network slicing is commonly mandated by strong isolation, essentially preventing any cross-slice communication (CSC) and data access between service components (e.g., vNFs) even if they are placed on the same (edge) datacenter (DC) or server. Packet forwarding typically enforces traffic to exit the network slice boundaries (i.e., network gateway), only for the traffic to return to the same (edge) datacenter or server. Though providing security and performance guarantees, this level of isolation is expected to have an adverse impact on the communication between network slices and the corresponding service components. For instance, a Video-on-Demand service may need to combine the playback of a video file with an overlaid personalized online advert, provided by a third-party service provider. Facilitating the direct communication between the corresponding service components, within the boundaries of the same datacenter or server, can yield significant latency benefits, as well as traffic savings both in the backhaul/transport segments of the network and further to/from the Internet.
The optiMized Edge Slice OrchestratioN (MESON) project aims at the design and prototype implementation of an enhanced management and orchestration (MANO) framework able to foster the establishment of cross-slice/tenant interactions and to facilitate the secure and optimized communication between next-generation services, across network slice borders. In essence, the MESON MANO framework allows a telecommunication operator to orchestrate the offered network slices in a way that satisfies the communication needs of its clients, taking into account cross-tenant communication requirements. This includes rich orchestration primitives for the establishment of cross-slice communication polices, schematizing service (API) exposure and resource management rules (e.g., auto-scaling) towards the support of semi-automated service placement and communication optimization. Inherently, MESON aspires to facilitate service orchestration at the edge of the network infrastructure.