Platform for mobile networks would bring services up to speeds of 100 Gbps

May 15, 2018, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Even as demand for web services grows alongside countless internet of things applications, a new platform could enable networks to deliver speeds of up to 100 Gbps. Credit: KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Even though mobile internet link speeds might soon achieve 100 Gbps, this doesn't necessarily mean network carriers will be free of data-handling challenges that effectively slow down mobile data services, for everything from individual device users to billions of Internet-of-Things connections.

Making connections faster means getting networks to process data packets in a different way, which is what a team from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, RISE SICS, and University of Liege reportedly have done. In a recent conference paper, the researchers introduced a new platform, Metron, for network functions virtualization, which enables network services to function at the true of the underlying .

"We are the first to enable modern network services to operate at the speed of the underlying commodity hardware, at wireline speed, thus achieving ultra-high throughput with low predictable latency, and high resource efficiency," says Dejan Kostic. The researchers believe Metron could help networks meet performance expectations even as demand for services such as high definition video, social media, and cloud-based applications continues to grow.

While available specialized hardware can accommodate these speeds, modern networks have adopted a new networking model that replaces expensive specialized hardware with open-source software running on commodity hardware, Kostic explains. "But achieving high performance using commodity hardware is hard to do, and current solutions fail to satisfy the performance requirements of high speed networks."

For one thing, the data uplink and downlink requires a network to take a couple of steps that make a big difference. Each packet of data must be inspected, then it's directed to servers where it must locate its destination among a multitude of cores, each designed to fulfill a specific .

An overview of the Metron platform. Credit: KTH Royal Institute of Technology

The Metron platform is designed to perform early traffic classification and apply tags to the packets. Then hardware can accurately dispatch traffic to the correct CPU core of a commodity server based upon the tag. "We also exploit our earlier work (called Synthesized Network Functions), to realize a highly optimized traffic classifier by synthesizing its internal operations, while eliminating processing redundancy," Kostic says.

The researchers' experiments on a 100 gigabit per second ethernet (GbE) network realized services with dramatically lower latency (up to 4.7x), higher throughput (up to 7.8x), and better efficiency (up to 6.5x) than is currently possible. Kostic says the work enables network operators to offer high throughput and low predictable latency – key requirements for future networks. "This is also relevant for popular services such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter."

"It shows that popular services can be provided to billions of users at a high quality, by efficiently exploiting the increasing networking speeds," he says.

Explore further: Nicira promises virtual networks will transform networking

More information: Metron: NFV Service Chains at the True Speed of the Underlying Hardware, Georgios P. Katsikas, RISE SICS and KTH Royal Institute of Technology; Tom Barbette, University of Liege; Dejan Kostic, KTH Royal Institute of Technology; Rebecca Steinert, RISE SICS; Gerald Q. Maguire Jr., KTH Royal Institute of Technology, NSDI 18 … resentation/katsikas

Related Stories

Nicira promises virtual networks will transform networking

February 6, 2012

( -- For the past four years, founders of the start-up company Nicira have been developing cutting-edge software that they predict will transform the networking technology underlying the Internet. Today Nicira ...

New technology to dramatically speed up home broadband

October 19, 2017

Slow internet speeds and the Internet 'rush hour' - the peak time when data speeds drop by up to 30% - could be history with new hardware designed and demonstrated by UCL researchers that provides consistently high-speed ...

Recommended for you

Two new planets discovered using artificial intelligence

March 26, 2019

Astronomers at The University of Texas at Austin, in partnership with Google, have used artificial intelligence (AI) to uncover two more hidden planets in the Kepler space telescope archive. The technique shows promise for ...

Infertility's roots in DNA packaging

March 26, 2019

Pathological infertility is a condition affecting roughly 7 percent of human males, and among those afflicted, 10 to 15 percent are thought to have a genetic cause. However, pinpointing the precise genes responsible for the ...

Facebook is free, but should it count toward GDP anyway?

March 26, 2019

For several decades, gross domestic product (GDP), a sum of the value of purchased goods, has been a ubiquitous yardstick of economic activity. More recently, some observers have suggested that GDP falls short because it ...

Droughts could hit aging power plants hard

March 26, 2019

Older power plants with once-through cooling systems generate about a third of all U.S. electricity, but their future generating capacity will be undercut by droughts and rising water temperatures linked to climate change. ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.