NetMSS is an associate team between Inria and the University of Waterloo focused on Network softwarization.
Evolution towards softwarized networks are greatly changing the landscape in networking. In the last years, the effort was focused on how to integrate network elements in cloud-based models. This leads to the advent of network function virtualization primarily relying on regular virtualization technologies and on some advances in network programmability. Several architectural models have been thus proposed and, even if no full consensus is reached yet, they highlight the major components. Among them, monitoring and orchestration are vital elements in order to ensure a proper assessment of the network conditions (network monitoring) serving as the support for the decision when deploying services (orchestration). With softwarization of networks, these elements can benefit from a higher flexibility but the latter requires new methods to be efficiently handled. For example, monitoring softwarized network necessitate to collect heterogeneous information, regarding the network but also cloud resources, from many locations. Targeting such an holistic monitoring will then support better decision algorithms, to be applied in a scalable and efficient manner, taking advantage of the advanced capabilities in terms of network configuration and programmability. In addition, real-time constraints in networking are very strong due to the transient nature of network traffic and are faced with high throughputs, especially in data-center networks where softwarization primarily takes place in.
Therefore, the associate team will promote (1) line-rate and accurate monitoring and (2) efficient resource uses for service orchestration leveraging micro-services.