A more powerful and flexible network for Baden-Württemberg
Research and innovative services for a flexible network in Baden-Württemberg
In order to provide end users a familiar quality of experience the underlying network has to be equipped with new innovative technologies and solutions. The state project bwNet2020+ aims to leverage new innovative approaches in order to support the expansion and modernization of the BelWü network and university networks.
The progressive digitalization that is emerging demands for secure and robust high-performance communication networks in this day and age. Those networks have long become an essential infrastructure equally needed by society and economy. Increasing data rates (up to 1 Tbit/s) and advances in telecommunications and cellular networks like 5G offer new possibilities to support applications. For example, service function chaining (SFC) allows services like load balancers or firewalls to be connected to a chain through which data packets should travel before reaching the final target. Service function chaining together with technologies like software-defined networks (SDN), programmable data planes (P4) and network function virtualization (NFV) lay the foundation for self-driving networks. By utilizing policies and monitoring data enhanced by machine learning, self-driving networks are able to run, adapt and defend themselves.
bwNET2020+ aims to leverage the just mentioned technologies in order to advance current implementations of the BelWü network as well as university networks. The goal is to present viable options to transition those solutions gradually towards full adoption. Multiple use cases will be developed together by network administrators and network scientists.
Firewall as a Service
Firewalls are an integral part in securing the boundaries between networks and the hosts participating in those. A durable operation and administration of such a critical piece of infrastructure takes time, money and proficiency.
Access via WIFI and 5G networks
Many mobile devices have several radio technologies, e.g. WiFi and 5G. In this use case, such technologies will be orchestrated to be used in parallel and made usable for different learning scenarios.
Transfer of large research datasets
A distinctive task of BelWü and university campus networks is the transfer of large scientific datasets. Such large transfer volumes caused by individual users are a rather uncommon traffic pattern, usually not found in, e.g., commercial provider networks. Such patterns, however, can severely affect other traffic in the network.
Improved security in campus networks
A special property of research networks is their heterogeneity and open structure, where hundreds of employees, students, but also potential attackers can access the public research network as well as services. Perimeter security can not offer sufficient protection in such an environment, since the perimeter concept only deals with attackers from outside.
The project partners are able to build up on extensive experience and successful cooperation from the previous projects bwNET100G+, bwNET100G+ Extension and bwNetFlow. The challenges to the BelWü network were successfully accompanied by the implementation of 100 Gbit/s communication links at the universities in Baden-Württemberg.
In the bwNET2020 + project, research groups and data center operators work closely together. At each location there are data center employees as well as scientific employees at the participating institutes who are responsible for working on the project. Another employee supports the project directly from BelWü.