In recent years many new technologies have been adopted with increasing demands for applications and high speed connections. Such heterogeneity of technologies is present at operator networks and weights heavily on the network´s management and planning. More often, specialized administrators are needed to handle the setup, operation, and management of emerging technologies. These factors increase operators CAPEX/OPEX and make the network more difficult to be engineered and expanded. While it is necessary to constantly increase infrastructure capacity to support new users, offer a better user quality of service and server diversity, the complexity of such systems also increases and hampers their evolution.
A promising strategy for improving network capacity and management capabilities and to reduce operating costs stems from the adoption of automated solutions. Self-Organizing Networks (SON)represent an important solution in this context. SONs represent a new paradigm for management automation to reduce the cost of installation and management by simplifying operational tasks through automated mechanisms such as self-configuration and self-optimization.
During the previous two projects (RAN and RAN2), a set of routing protocols was designed based on the requirements for routing in dynamic Ambient Networks. These protocols were specified, formalized and evaluated. A negotiation protocol which is responsible, among other tasks, for negotiating the best routing protocol for the AN environment was also developed and integrated into a policy management framework to control automatic configuration and adaptation of networks. Towards the end of the RAN2 project, special interest was given to dynamic policy negotiation in order to support dynamic roaming scenarios for 3GPP-based networks. In this new phase of the project, automated management based on the definition of dynamic SLAs will be considered. Specific aspects during this process of SLA definition and their correspondent rules will be analyzed. Special emphasis will be given to the problems of self-organization, consistency, correctness and conflicts verification.
To summarize, the main aims of the proposed project are to:
- Research the requirements and benefits of using SON in the context of the use cases such as Metro Ethernet and LTE;
- Identify strategies for the detection of conflicts among self-organizing network elements;
- Study and develop new conflict resolution algorithms that emerge among elements of a SON;
- Build a unified policy framework which encompasses relationships between different kinds of policies and supports the resolution of business-level policies into enforceable system policies at different levels.