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Fig. 1: The Bristol Is Open fiber network places active core nodes at four locations in the city. HPC facilities and emulation are accessible through the network core. Wireless technologies (802.11ac, 802.11ad, LTE, LTE-A) are spread out through the center. high-quality broadcast and coverage; and efficient handling of emergency situations (city evacuation). Programmable city vs. smart city Smart cities aim to improve and enhance public and private service offerings to citizens in a more efficient and cost-effective way by exploiting network, IT and, increasingly, cloud technologies. To achieve this goal, smart cities rely extensively on data collected from citizens, the environment, vehicles and basically all the “things” present in the city. The more data that becomes available, the more accurately city operations can be analyzed, which in turn will lead to the design and availability of smart-city services. For the network infrastructure, citywide data retrieval and processing mean massive amounts of sensor data that needs to be collected, aggregated and transferred to computational facilities (data centers) for storage and possibly processing. The wide diversity of scenarios and applications presents major challenges regarding networking and computing infrastructure requirements in smart cities. Legacy information and communications technology (ICT) urban infrastructure can be a major bottleneck for smart-city operations, as it does not offer the capacity, flexibility and scalability desirable for the emerging, future-proof, resource-demanding and scalable smart-city applications. Programmable networking technologies offer unique capabilities for raising the performance of smart-city operations. These technologies exploit open software and hardware platforms, which users can program to tailor network functions for different use case requirements. Improved control, monitoring and resource allocation in the network are the evident benefits of deploying programmable networks. More important, programmable technologies facilitate the integration of networks with IT facilities, which will result in greater application awareness. Software-defined networking (SDN) is one of the main enablers for programmable networks. The SDN foundation is based on decoupling infrastructure control from the data plane, which greatly simplifies network management and application development while also allowing deployment of generic hardware in the network for delivering networking functions. SDN-based scalable and facilitated network management also greatly empowers network virtualization. Network virtualization essentially enables multiple users to operate over shared physical resources, isolated from one another, reducing the need for installing supplementary physical hardware. Network function virtualization (NFV), a more recent innovation in virtualization technologies, offers software implementation of network functions in commodity hardware. Network functions such as firewall, deep packet inspection, load balancing and so on are deployed as pluggable software containers in generic machines, expediting network service deployments with great cost-efficiency. In addition to software-driven networking, hardware and infrastructure programmability will progress beyond fixed-function hardware data planes. Adding high-level programmability and more sophisticated functionality to the data plane, accessed via standard software APIs, will make it possible to manage networking resources more intelligently and efficiently, increasing the rate of innovation. Bristol is Open: vision and architecture Launched in 2013, Bristol Is Open is a program funded by the local, national and European governments and also by the private sector. BIO is already delivering R&D initiatives that contribute to the advancement of smart cities and the Internet of Things. BIO aims to serve as a living lab—an R&D testbed targeting city-driven digital innovation. It provides a managed multitenancy platform for the development and testing of new solutions for information and communication infrastructure, and thus forms the core ICT enabling platform for the Future Cities agenda. At the infrastructure level, BIO comprises five distinctive SDNenabled infrastructures, as shown in Figure 1: • Active nodes as optoelectronic-network white boxes using FPGA programmable platforms and heterogeneous optical and Layer 2/3 networking infrastructure • Heterogeneous wireless infrastructure comprising Wi-Fi, LTE, LTE-A and 60-GHz millimeter-wave technologies • IoT sensor mesh infrastructure • Network emulator comprising a server farm and an FPGASoC network processor farm • Blue Crystal high-performance computing (HPC) facility On the metro network, the infrastructure offers access to dynamic optical switching supporting multi-terabit/second data streams, multirate Layer 2 switching (1 to 100 GbE) and Layer 3 routing. The metro is also equipped with programmable hardware platforms and high-performance servers to allow open access to the infrastructure and a capability to create and experiment with new hardware and software solutions. This wired part of the infrastructure also connects to the Blue Crystal HPC facilities at Bristol in order to support experimentation with advanced cloud infrastructures. The access network infrastructure includes overlapping and www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe October 2015 43


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