Journal article Open Access

Resource Sharing Efficiency in Network Slicing

Marquez, Cristina; Gramaglia, Marco; Fiore, Marco; Banchs, Albert; Costa-Pérez, Xavier

The economic sustainability of future mobile networks will largely depend on the strong specialization of its offered services. Network operators will need to provide added value to their tenants, by moving from the traditional one-size-fits-all strategy to a set of virtual end-to-end instances of a common physical infrastructure, named network slices, which are especially tailored to the requirements of each application. Implementing network slicing has significant consequences in terms of resource management: service customization entails assigning to each slice fully dedicated resources, which may also be dynamically reassigned and overbooked in order to increase the cost-efficiency of the system. In this paper, we adopt a data-driven approach to quantify the efficiency of resource sharing in future sliced networks. Building on metropolitan-scale real-world traffic measurements, we carry out an extensive parametric analysis that highlights how diverse performance guarantees, technological settings, and slice configurations impact the resource utilization at different levels of the infrastructure in presence of network slicing. Our results provide insights on the achievable efficiency of network slicing architectures, their dimensioning, and their interplay with resource management algorithms at different locations and reconfiguration timescales.

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