The Mobile Networks Department Laboratory is mainly devoted to SDN/NFV experimental research and emulation/simulation. The wide range of testing environments are built around the multi-purpose fully reconfigurable EXTREME Testbed® and three technology-specific extension testbeds.
The core of the EXTREME testbed® lies on two Central Servers. They are the interface between the experimenter/user and the testbed, hiding its complexity and offering high-level experimentation services to the user. A series of reconfigurable multi-purpose network elements (9 Intel-based servers with 40 vCPUs and 6 Gigabit Ethernet cards and 40+ Intel-based servers with 4 Gigabit Ethernet cards) can be customized and used as network elements for experimentation purposes (e.g. traffic emulation, routing, switching, acting as access points, wireless clients, capturing packets…). Each of these machines is connected to both a control network and a data network. The interconnection pattern of nodes for each experiment is configured in the backbone switch-router (a Cisco Catalyst C6513 switch router).
For the wireless infrastructure, the testbed offers a wide range of wireless devices: traffic generators and receivers, sniffers, mobile nodes and mesh nodes using commercial WLAN gear (Access points, 802.11ad/ac/a/b/g cards, 3G/WLAN cards, smartphones) and heterogeneous computing nodes (laptops, embedded PCs) with wireless capabilities. Moreover, it is also available RF components (coaxial cables, attenuators, splitters, combiners and antennas) to scale the wireless experimentation to the laboratory size. Other commercial equipment integrated in the testbed includes traffic generators (IXIA 1600T and Spirent SmartBits 600B), a networks emulator (Radcom Performer R1000), a measurement equipment (Networks Instruments GigaStor GS4T) and high performance routers (Access Router Cisco 7206VXR/NPE-G2 and Juniper M40). External connectivity is offered through the CTTC production network and through connections to external production and research networks. The EXTREME Measurement Architecture (EMMA) is a software system built around the EXTREME testbed®. It provides a framework for the researcher to monitor the system under test while freeing him/her from the low-level details of the configuration of the traffic generation and capture tools.
Beyond the general framework, the EXTREME Testbed® features three specialized testbeds. The first testbed extension is a UMTS/HSPA testbed. It is an in-lab cellular network composed of real equipment (Siemens node B NB860, UMTS/HSPA wireless cards and USIMs) and a UMTS protocol emulator (including the core network and RNC network elements). The UMTS emulator is connected to the EXTREME testbed through a Gigabit Ethernet connection. The second extension is a Wireless Mesh Backhaul testbed with Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) capabilities deployed in the CTTC building. It is composed of 12 wireless mesh routers currently being used in the context of 5G-Crosshaul. They are based on multicore servers with an Ethernet card connected to the control network of the EXTREME testbed. Each of them has up to 3x PCI 802.11ac wireless cards with 3x omni-directional antennas in the 5Ghz band and 1x mmWave USB 802.11ad wireless card with a directional antenna in the 60Ghz band. The third extension is an all-wireless network of femtocells testbed. It is an example of hybrid wireless networks and it integrates the 3GPP architecture and wireless data networking concepts. Twelve Sagemcom femtocells are deployed next to each of the multi-radio WLAN nodes and connected to the core emulator via a real Iuh interface. All these testbeds are fully integrated in the software system of the EXTREME testbed. This allows building a heterogeneous 3G-wireless LAN network test environment, which is fully.
The EXTREME Testbed® is enhanced with SDN and NFV capabilities. The basic infrastructure is upgraded with high performance servers and SDN/NFV software tools are deployed. This deployment is based on OpenStack (for the NFV part) and OpenDaylight (for the SDN part). In addition to this, the testbed also contains an LTE module for simulation/emulation of the Radio Access Network (RAN) and Evolved Packet Core (EPC) of mobile networks.