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Extending Stream Control Transport Protocol to Support Containerized Central Unit Live Migration in 5G Radio Access Network: A Feasibility Study

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posted on 2023-05-03, 19:01 authored by Shunmugapriya RamanathanShunmugapriya Ramanathan, Abhishek Bhattacharyya, koteswararao kondeppu, andrea fumagalli

Softwarization and virtualization of 5G radio access network components can bring cloud-like benefits to mobile network operators. In cloud and edge computing environments, these benefits are typically achieved through Virtual Machines (VMs) and containers, with the latter option gaining traction thanks to its relatively lightweight requirements. Currently available open-source container platform(s), however, do not achieve a full-fledged containerized mobile network protocol stack, as they fail to support successful live migration of containers that execute specific 5G software functionalities. 

The contribution of this paper is to present a proof-of-concept implementation that completes the live migration of a containerized 5G Central Unit (CU) module between two servers without causing permanent service disruption to the mobile user.  The authors’ implementation makes use of an open-source migration software (CRIU) that has been modified to support a key protocol (SCTP) that the CU module requires to exchange signaling messages with other 5G modules. The authors' implementation is experimentally tested in a federated testbed environment with four container migration techniques. A performance comparison reveals that the end-user service recovery time due to the CU live migration can be reduced by up to 36% when applying the hybrid migration technique compared to the conventional cold migration technique.


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The University of Texas at Dallas

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  • United States of America

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