With FLAME addressing the Future Media Internet ecosystem, the integration with 5G has always been in the mind of the platform development.
5G addresses a number of key aspects, such as higher throughput, low latency, edge computing capabilities, among others, that are targeted by FLAME use cases as well as provided by FLAME platform capabilities. In order to highlight the relationship of FLAME with 5G, we have published a whitepaper to that effect. Key drivers we identified are those of a programmable infrastructure, such as the ones found in Bristol and Barcelona as well as in our new replicator sites in London and Sicily, the desire for a cloud-native deployment, such as enabled by the micro data centre based deployments enabled by the FLAME platform, and the deep in-network service deployment that is being showcased by the many trials and showcases of FLAME.
The whitepaper highlights the main FLAME contributions to 5G along those drivers. Positioned as a crucial contribution is the architectural alignment of the service-based architecture (SBA), which the FLAME platform implements, that allows for FLAME services to span from the distant over-the-top cloud to the far edge cloud deployed in base stations, street furniture and user devices themselves.
The FLAME platform has recently been recognized as one of three SBA deployment choices for the most recent 3GPP Rel16 technical specification; a major achievement for any 5G project. Through this architectural alignment, cloud-native service patterns are supported out of the box in FLAME, with micro service patterns being utilized by our open call and validation partners to realize FMI services in trials and showcases alike. The efficient realization of the 5G platform relies on a cross-layer awareness that is combined with its flexible and highly dynamic service orchestration mechanism, providing the ability to service providers to flexibly and dynamically adjust resource usage to patterns of use through customers. Key to this efficiency is the novel and highly efficient data centre like service routing that transparently joins highly distributed micro data centres together as one computing fabric provided to the service provider, all efficiently integrated in 5G-ready transport networks based on the latest software-defined networking paradigms.
The resulting FLAME platform, described at a high level in the whitepaper in a coming together of those major 5G contributions, has led to an impressive number of more than 75 standard contributions across major 5G standardization organizations, most notably the 3GPP (as the main 5G body), the IETF (as the main normative protocol body), the ITU (for forward looking Network2030 work) and ETSI (for contributions to the crucial multi-access computing area). Those contributions and the realization of the underlying technologies in the FLAME platform together with the high technology readiness level demonstrated in trials and showcases throughout 2019 and future ones to come in 2020, place FLAME at the forefront of 5G efforts in Europe – download the whitepaper here to read more about it.