PACE - Next Steps in PAth Computation Element (PCE) Architectures: From Software Defined Concepts to Standards, Interoperability and Deployment

Start: 01 November 2013
End: 31 January 2016
Funding: European
Status: Due
Division: Communication Networks
Department: Optical Networks & Systems (ONS)
Code: 619712

Amongst the few distinctive European alliances carrying the promise of making a lasting impact in software-defined networking (SDN) and the IT industry is the research and industrial communities pursuing developments in the Path Computation Element (PCE), an effort “made-in-the-EU”. In regards to PCE design, deployment, and evolution, Europeans are amongst today’s leaders in the process of transitioning PCE from software-defined concept to interoperable networking standards. This is particularly the case in the standardization bodies of IETF and ETSI, including the areas of advanced optical networks, sensor networks as well as frameworks for the Internet of Things (IoT).
We are still facing a number of open challenges in the SDN areas, yet to be addressed through PCE design. First, current Open Networking Foundation (ONF) specifications lack control systems and well-defined interfaces with external (non-ONF) functions, which represents a not-to-be-missed opportunity for the PCE-based architecture. Second, the new ETSI initiative on Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is leveraging virtualization concepts, with the growing role of PCE concepts. Third, Application-based Network Operations (ABNO) – an architecture proposed, developed and led within the IETF by leading members of our consortium – uses a variety of PCE-based tools and techniques.

PACE seizes this great opportunity of consolidation of the existing PCE developments, thereby facilitating a one-stop solution for all PCE-related issues, with an open-source software repository, workshops, standardization activities, plugin marketplace, etc. PACE will bring together a community of standardization and community leaders, developers, and academics. PACE will ensure that different aspects of PCE are not developed in isolation, while addressing interoperability issues, and thus avoiding any delays in innovation, and in sealing European leadership in the sector.