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Edge Computing

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Patent 10547505


Issued 2020-01-28

Software Defined Networking For Edge Nodes

A method includes decomposing functionalities of an node, such as an edge node, of a mobile core domain of a wireless communications system into a plurality of partitions comprised of at least one application part for executing at least signaling plane functions and that interfaces logically to other signaling entities, at least one control part for executing at least transport functions and at least one network element part for executing at least data forwarding functions. The method further includes virtualizing the at least one application part and configuring at least one network element to perform at least one data forwarding function under the direction of the at least one control part. The control part is instantiated as at least one software-defined networking (SDN) controller, and the at least one network element includes a plurality of SDN controller configurable ports to receive data and to send data, and to also perform operations on received data such as tunnel termination/origination, encryption/decryption, traffic shaping and other needed user plane transport functions. The use of the invention enables a complete virtualization of the mobile core domain to be accomplished.


Classification


Slightly More than Average Length Specification


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3 Independent Claims

  • Independent Claim 1. A method, comprising: decomposing functionalities of an edge node of a wireless communications system into a plurality of partitions comprised of: at least oneapplication part for executing at least gateway signaling plane functions and that interfaces logically to other signaling entitiesat least one control part for executing at least transport functions, wherein one of the transport functions comprisessteering transport resourcesand at least one network element part for executing at least tunnel handling functions, wherein one of the tunnel handling functions comprises forwarding datavirtualizing the at least one application partconfiguringthe at least one network element to perform at least one tunnel handling functionand instantiating the control part as at least one software-defined networking (SDN) controller, and where the at least one network element is comprised of a plurality ofSDN controller configurable ports to receive data and to send data, wherein the at least one application part, the at least one control part, and the at least one network element part are all located within the edge node, and wherein the SDN controlleris coupled with a network element capabilities database, the method further comprising sending a capabilities enquiry to one or more network elements, receiving a capabilities response from the one or more network elements, and storing network elementcapabilities information in the capabilities database.

  • Independent Claim 14. An apparatus, comprising: at least one processorand at least one memory including computer program code, where the at least one memory and computer program code are configured to, with the at least one processor, cause the apparatus atleast to: decompose functionalities of an edge node of a wireless communications system into a plurality of partitions comprised of: at least one application part for executing at least gateway signaling plane functions and that interfaces logically toother signaling entitiesat least one control part for executing at least transport functions, wherein one of the transport functions comprises steering transport resourcesand at least one network element part for executing at least tunnel handlingfunctions, wherein one of the tunnel handling functions comprises forwarding datavirtualize the at least one application partconfigure the at least one network element to perform at least one tunnel handling functionand instantiate the controlpart as at least one software-defined networking (SDN) controller, and where the at least one network element is comprised of a plurality of SDN controller configurable ports to receive data and to send data, wherein the at least one application part,the at least one control part, and the at least one network element part are all located within the edge node, and wherein the SDN controller is coupled with a network element capabilities database, the apparatus further caused to send a capabilitiesenquiry to one or more network elements, receive a capabilities response from the one or more network elements, and store network element capabilities information in the capabilities database.

  • Independent Claim 17. A network element included in an edge node that executes at least tunnel handling functions, comprising: a flow tablea first interface for coupling with at least one software defined networking (SDN) controllerand a second interfacecomprising a plurality of ports configurable by the at least one SDN controller while observing constraints imposed by said flow table, wherein said network element included in the edge node being preconfigured or configurable to operate on data that isreceived at a first port, to process the received data in a manner that modifies the received data, and to send processed data from a second port, wherein the network element is one of a plurality of partitions decomposed from the edge node, wherein theSDN controller is coupled with a network element capabilities database, and wherein the network element is configured to receive a capabilities enquiry, and send a capabilities response in response to the capabilities enquiry.