Building an Ecosystem for  Network Function Virtualization and a Software Defined Network



SoftFIRE aims at creating an ecosystem of organizations around the technological field of NFV/SDN and and its evolution towards 5G developments.
In order to achieve this goal, SoftFIRE needs to aggregate as many as possible organizations and people around an enabling platform. The SoftFIRE platform consists in a federated testbed that comprises very different experimental frameworks. The SoftFIRE federated testbed is available for experimenting new services, applications and functional extensions of the platform. The mechanisms envisaged for nurturing an ecosystem are based on the concept of Open Calls and specific related events (like Hackathons, InterOptest and Challenges).

In this context, the federated infrastructure will be used in order to:

  • develop new services and applications from Third parties, and
  • develop new platform functionalities.

Then these new additions will be proved and evaluated by means of Hackathons or Challenges open to general practitioners and organizations.

Open calls are issued to the wider community possible and the process for writing and evaluating them will be very simple. The interested parties can apply by proposing a project according to an Open Call Template. The proposal describes an experiment that should be carried out using the federated SoftFIRE platform. The proposal should also provide some details on the intended business business value. The proposals will be selected according to a few criteria such as:

  • Excellence
  • Impact
  • Implementation

.The selected proposals will go through a contract phase in order to associate the proponents to the project for a determined time-frame and to state the results and the deliverables. For a period of three months experimenters will have access to the platform for carrying out the experimentation and tune up the implementation. At the end the results of the activities will be showed up in a SoftFIRE organized Event (a Hackathon or a Challenge). These events are open in nature and other organizations and Third Parties will be invited to participate and to try the proposed applications and platform extensions. The experiments’ results will also be evaluated in a review at the end of the activities.

Open calls are organized in “waves”, that means in subsequent call for experiments. The calls will address some of the features that SoftFIRE deem important for the evolution of this sector: interoperability, programmability and security. Open calls are focussing on one of these aspects, but they are not limited to one of them. The project will evaluate also good proposals that not necessarily focus on the specific topic of the current Open Call in order to ensure that all the novelties in this area could be promptly shown to the community.

There will be three Open Calls during the lifetime of the project.

First Wave is closed now.  
Second Wave and Third Wave will soon follow.