The Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) paradigm is undoubtedly a key technological advancement in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) community, especially for the upcoming 5G network design. While most of its promise is quite straightforward, the implied reduction of the power consumption/carbon footprint is still debatable, and not in line with the energy efficiency perspective forecasted by the ETSI NFV working group (WG). In this paper, we provide an estimate of the possible future requirements of this upcoming technology when deployed according to the virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) use case specified by the ETSI NFV WG. Our estimation is based on real performance levels, certified by independent third-party laboratories, and datasheet values provided by existing commercial products for both the legacy and NFV network architectures, under different deployment scenarios. Obtained results show that a massive deployment of the current NFV technologies in the EPC may lead to a minimum increase of 106 % in the carbon footprint/energy consumption with respect to the Business As Usual (BAU) network solutions. Moreover, these values tend to increase at a very high pace when the most suitable software/hardware combination is not applied, or when packet processing latency is taken into account.

The dark side of network functions virtualization: A perspective on the technological sustainability

Bolla, R.;Bruschi, R.;Davoli, F.;Lombardo, C.;Pajo, J. F.;Sanchez, O. R.
2017

Abstract

The Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) paradigm is undoubtedly a key technological advancement in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) community, especially for the upcoming 5G network design. While most of its promise is quite straightforward, the implied reduction of the power consumption/carbon footprint is still debatable, and not in line with the energy efficiency perspective forecasted by the ETSI NFV working group (WG). In this paper, we provide an estimate of the possible future requirements of this upcoming technology when deployed according to the virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) use case specified by the ETSI NFV WG. Our estimation is based on real performance levels, certified by independent third-party laboratories, and datasheet values provided by existing commercial products for both the legacy and NFV network architectures, under different deployment scenarios. Obtained results show that a massive deployment of the current NFV technologies in the EPC may lead to a minimum increase of 106 % in the carbon footprint/energy consumption with respect to the Business As Usual (BAU) network solutions. Moreover, these values tend to increase at a very high pace when the most suitable software/hardware combination is not applied, or when packet processing latency is taken into account.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/881396
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