Network Function Virtualization in Mobile Network

Rethinking NFV in LTE and Beyond: Reliable, Scalable and Fault Tolerant NFV designs in 4G LTE and 5G arena.


LTE Network Function Virtualization (LTE-NFV) scales user services in a low cost fashion by transforming the centralized legacy LTE Core architecture to a distributed architecture. This distributed architecture makes multiple instances of LTE Network Functions (NFs) and virtualizes them on commodity data-center network. The functionality of LTE-NFV architecture breaks however, since the distributed NF instances connected via unreliable IP links delay the execution of critical events. The failure of time-critical events results in users’ quality of service degradation and temporary service unavailability. We propose a new way to virtualize LTE core network. We argue that logic-based NFs segregation should be done for NFV, instead of instance-based NFs segregation done in current NFV implementation. Our approach of ‘logic-based NFs segregation’ combines the logic of an event into a single NF, thus localizing the execution of critical events to one virtual machine. This way, only the localized entities exchange signalling messages, and the events do not experience large delays. We further reduce the delays by exploiting the parallelism in LTE network protocols; and partition these protocols such that their signalling messages run in parallel. In addition, we eliminate unnecessary messages to reduce the signalling overhead.


Rethinking LTE Network Functions Virtualization  IEEE ICNP'17

Muhammad Taqi Raza, Dongho Kim , Kyu-Han Kim , Songwu Lu and Mario Gerla
The 25th Annual International Conference on Network Protocols.

Reducing Latencies and Improving Fault Tolerance in NFV of 3GPP Standardized IMS  ACM/IEEE CNSM'17

Muhammad Taqi Raza and Songwu Lu
The 13th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Network and Service Management.

Modular Redundancy for Cloud based IMS Robustness  ACM Mobiwac'17

Muhammad Taqi Raza, Hsiao-Yun Tseng, ChangLong Li and Songwu Lu
The 15th ACM International Symposium on Mobility Management and Wireless Access.


Team Member

Research Support

We gratefully acknowledge research support from NSF (CNS-1526985, CNS-1526456, CNS-1423576 and CNS- 1421440) and the departmental support from UCLA. We thank HP Labs for providing internship oppertunities to further our research.