SoftAir: a software defined networking architecture for 5G wireless systems
Akyildiz, Ian F.; Wang, Pu; Lin, Shih-Chun. 2015. SoftAir: a software defined networking architecture for 5G wireless systems. Computer Networks, vol. 85, 5 July 2015:pp 1–18
One of the main building blocks and major challenges for 5G cellular systems is the design of flexible network architectures which can be realized by the software defined networking paradigm. Existing commercial cellular systems rely on closed and inflexible hardware-based architectures both at the radio frontend and in the core network. These problems significantly delay the adoption and deployment of new standards, impose significant challenges in implementing and innovation of new techniques to maximize the network capacity and accordingly the coverage, and prevent provisioning of truly- differentiated services which are able to adapt to growing and uneven and highly variable traffic patterns. In this paper, a new software- defined architecture, called SoftAir, for next generation (5G) wireless systems, is introduced. Specifically, the novel ideas of network function cloudification and network virtualization are exploited to provide a scalable, flexible and resilient network architecture. Moreover, the essential enabling technologies to support and manage the proposed architecture are discussed in details, including fine-grained base station decomposition, seamless incorporation of Open-flow, mobility- aware control traffic balancing, resource-efficient network virtualization, and distributed and collaborative traffic classification. Furthermore, the major benefits of SoftAir architecture with its enabling technologies are showcased by introducing software- defined traffic engineering solutions. The challenging issues for realizing SoftAir are also discussed in details.