The 5GinFIRE orchestration service and the NFV infrastructure at the 5TONIC laboratory

The global 5G Telefonica Open Innovation Laboratory (5TONIC) [1] has been established in Madrid (Spain) as a leading European hub for knowledge sharing and industry collaboration in the area of 5G technologies. The laboratory provides an open research and innovation ecosystem for industry and academia that will promote joint project development, joint entrepreneurial ventures, discussion fora, and a site for events and conferences, all in an international environment of the highest impact. 5TONIC will also serve to evaluate and demonstrate the capabilities and interoperation of pre-commercial 5G equipment, services and applications. Currently, the 5TONIC laboratory has nine members: Telefonica, Institute IMDEA Networks, Ericsson, Intel, Commscope, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Cohere Technologies, Artesyn Embedded Technologies and InterDigital.


The 5TONIC laboratory, as a multipurpose environment, counts with multiple racks, which may be flexibly interconnected according to any experimentation requirements, along with a common infrastructure to aid experimentation, trials and demonstrations with 5G products and services. In particular, secure external access may be provided via VPN gateways, allowing different solutions to support management, control and data operations from remote network locations, depending on specific requirements. Due to confidentiality reasons, we cannot disclose all the software and hardware available in the laboratory, which also includes experimental prototypes from the industry and academic members. Consequently, in the following we keep our description concrete, describing the main infrastructure and equipment that will be offered for experimentation to 5GinFIRE. A graphical representation of this infrastructure is schematized in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Equipment of 5TONIC offered to 5GINFIRE for experimentation

The technical solution adopted in 5GinFIRE for the orchestration of network services consists in a single orchestration domain, where an NFV orchestrator, implemented with Open Source MANO (OSM) [2], manages and coordinates the creation of end-to-end network services. These services may potentially involve multiple VNFs, and may expand across the diverse experimentation infrastructures provided by the project partners. Each partner running an experimental infrastructure will be in charge of the deployment and maintenance of a Virtualized Infrastructure Manager (VIM), compliant with the necessary interfaces, as defined by the 5GinFIRE reference architecture. On top of that, the NFV orchestrator of 5GinFIRE, deployed at 5TONIC, will interact with the appropriate VIMs, coordinating the allocation and setup of the computing, storage and network resources which are necessary for the instantiation and interconnection of VNFs.

With respect to the orchestrator software stack, the first stable version of the 5GINFIRE MANO platform will be based on OSM Release TWO, and will run on a server computer with 16 cores, 128 GB RAM, 2 TB NLSAS hard drive and a network card with 4 GbE ports and DPDK support. This server computer will also deploy two VIM instances based on OpenStack Ocata [3], which will allow to allocate experiments to two separate NFVI infrastructures (NFVI).

On the one hand, the laboratory will include a dedicated NFVI that will be allocated to experimentation activities within 5GINFIRE. This infrastructure (5GINFIRE NFVI in Figure 1) will consist of a set of three server computers, each with six cores, 32GB of memory, 2TB NLSAS and a network card with four GbE ports and DPDK support. These servers will be interconnected by a GbE data-plane switch. On the other hand, the 5TONIC laboratory will also offer a second NFVI for experimentation, based on two high-profile servers, each equipped with eight cores in a NUMA architecture, 128GB RDIMM RAM, 4TB SAS and eight 10Gbps Ethernet optical transceivers with SR-IOV capabilities. These servers are currently interconnected in the data plane by a 24-port 10Gbps Ethernet switch. The latter NFVI (IMDEA NFVI in Figure 1) forms part of the infrastructure of Institute IMDEA Networks at 5TONIC, and may be used to support high resource demanding experiments. This specific infrastructure will be available for experimentation in 5GINFIRE under specific terms and conditions as described in the next section. Finally, the experimentation infrastructure offered to 5GinFIRE includes three server computers (not shown in the figure) to support complementary functionalities, such as aiding experimentation (e.g. hosting client applications), deploying a network management system, storing data (e.g. disk backups, VM images or code), etc.

Last but not least, a relevant feature of the deployed MANO platform is that it would be feasible to extend the experimentation infrastructure offered by 5GinFIRE with the public cloud support of OSM Release TWO (e.g., supporting access to Amazon Web Services).


Experimentation activities of 5GINFIRE will be supported in 5TONIC through the 5GINFIRE portal. The infrastructure available in 5TONIC for the 5GINFIRE project corresponds to four different categories, according to their use and characteristics:

  1. The 5GINFIRE orchestration system. This category encompasses the OSM stack, including the VNF catalog. This system will be free for use by 5GinFIRE partners and projects in the open calls, being available on a 24×7 basis, without explicit Service Level Agreement.
  2. The 5GINFIRE NFVI. This equipment will be free for use by 5GINFIRE partners and projects in the open calls, being its utilization subject to explicit booking and availability.
  3. The IMDEA NFVI. This equipment is free for use by experiments implying at least one 5TONIC member, being subject to payment and agreement with Institute IMDEA Networks otherwise. Its availability will be provided and included as required in the 5GinFIRE portal.
  4. Equipment installed in the 5TONIC facilities. This category corresponds to equipment owned by the experimenter, who must provide the VIM and other management mechanisms (the VIM and the equipment must be connected to the OSM orchestrator). The installation of this equipment is free for 5TONIC members within their assigned racks, being the cost determined as follows otherwise: 1 K€ flat fee, plus 1 K€/week per rack, with a minimum fee of 4.5 K€, plus applicable taxes, with the possibility to pay in kind (in any case, subject to approval by the 5TONIC Board and availability).

Experiment examples

The infrastructure available in 5TONIC to 5GinFIRE will enable the automatic deployment of network services over a high-performance NFV infrastructure. These network services will enable the experimentation with new VNFs and Virtual Vertical Functions, which may be flexibly interconnected to conduct: functional validation of network and vertical functions, performance studies, evaluation of open source developments and of their interoperability with well-known and recognized NFV related efforts, experimentation with service function chaining, etc.


5TONIC – IMDEA Networks Institute

Avenida del Mar Mediterráneo 22, 28918 Leganés (Madrid), Spain
+34 91 481 62 10
+34 91 481 69 65

More details can be found here

[1] 5TONIC: an open research and innovation laboratory focusing on 5G technologies:
[2] Open Source MANO:
[3] OpenStack Ocata:

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