7EPC in the Cloud

James Kempf and Kumar Balachandran

Ericsson Research, San Jose CA, USA

7.1 Introduction

The architecture of the Internet is being fundamentally restructured by cloud computing and software defined networking (SDN) [1–3]. Cloud computing and SDN conceptually insert computation into the center of the network and separate control and execution in a way that decentralizes execution.1 Control can then be flexibly exercised, often from a central entity running in a cloud data center. SDN and cloud find applicability in next-generation operator networks through network function virtualization (NFV) [4–6]. SDN for operator networks and NFV are currently under much discussion in the literature and in fora specifically dedicated to standardizing their interfaces [7, 8].

SDN and NFV have relevance for the mobile network operator too, specifically with respect to the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) [9]. Additionally, SDN and NFV can realize true convergence of various different kinds of core networks, transport backbones, and services; businesses can now flexibly deploy common services across different operator domains such as broadband Ethernet, mobile networks, and broadcast media networks. Such convergence will ideally enable services to transcend the complications of working across different security, identity, and mobility mechanisms, while the lower-level implementations of such functionality are themselves altered over time to a common framework. SDN and NFV have the ...

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