January 15 – 18 , 2017, Dagstuhl Seminar 17032

Network Function Virtualization in Software Defined Infrastructures


David Hausheer (TU Darmstadt, DE)
Oliver Hohlfeld (RWTH Aachen, DE)
Diego R. Lopez (Telefonica I+D – Seville, ES)
Bruce MacDowell Maggs (Duke University – Durham, US)
Costin Raiciu (University Politehnica of Bucharest, RO)

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Network management currently undergoes massive changes towards realizing more flexible management of complex networks. Recent efforts include slicing data plane resources by using network (link) virtualization and applying operating system design principles in Software Defined Networking (SDN). Driven by network operators, network management principles are currently envisioned to be even further improved by virtualizing network functions which are currently realized in dedicated hardware appliances. The resulting Network Function Virtualization (NFV) paradigm abstracts network functions from dedicated hardware to virtual machines running on commodity hardware and enables a Cloud-like network management. All of these efforts contribute to a softwarization of communication networks. This softwarization represents a significant change to network design and management by allowing the application of operating system design and software engineering principles to make network management more efficient, e.g., by enabling flexible and dynamic service provisioning.

Since the many NFV efforts are driven by carriers and standardization bodies, academic research is decoupled from current industry driven NFV attempts in redesigning network management. Due to this missing link to academic research, manifold opportunities for groundbreaking research and broad impact in academia are missing out. This Dagstuhl Seminar aims to provide this missing link to foster collaborations and joint research initiatives. Thus, this seminar particularly aims at identifying the diverse connections between industry driven NFV efforts and current academic networking research. As a result, this seminar aims at categorizing research challenges and at defining a joint research agenda.

Topics of interest in this seminar will include:

  • Performance aspects
  • Standardization aspects
  • Security and privacy aspects
  • Energy efficiency
  • Network verification, network reliability, and end-user experience
  • Techno-economic aspects
  • Orchestration and (automated) management of virtualized services
  • Deployment of new / OTT services (e.g., virtualized CDNs)

  Creative Commons BY 3.0 DE
  Oliver Hohlfeld


  • Networks


  • Network function virtualization
  • Software-defined networking
  • Flexible network management

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