Achieving Mobility and Network Isolation Without Tunnels

Up until now the common wisdom has been to support mobility by using tunnelling protocols to create bearer flows, but with the drive towards network virtualisation this same common wisdom will lead to tunnels, within tunnels, within tunnels. Seems madly inefficient and likely not to work.

However, what if mobility is looked at as nothing more than multihoming, where the points of attachment change a bit more frequently. Other than perhaps different policies to accommodate the increased rate of change, nothing new is required over and above what is needed to provide multihoming. The reason why mobility is so complicated in the TCP/IP protocol architecture is the lack of a complete naming and addressing complement.

For mobility to work in a scalable and simple way there is a need for a stable identifier that does not change as Mobile Hosts (MHs) move, and other identifiers (the addresses) that change to reflect the location of the mobile host within the different layers of the mobile network. In TCP/IP there is a single identifier, the IP address, which cannot fulfil the two requirements at the same time; therefore complicated solutions usually involving tunnels are required (such as GTP, Mobile IP or Proxy Mobile IP). In contrast in RINA none of these is required.

RINA Mobility

RINA seeks to reduce the exponentially increasing cost and complexity of 5G from RAN to core with a unified network architecture that:

  • Simplifies replicatable functionality at every layer.
  • Isolates true layers so that Network Slice performance and QoS SLAs are guaranteed without tunnels that obviate many of efficiencies of virtualisation.
  • Optimizes Virtual Network Function (VNF) reuse since a VNF can be realised in RINA as an application and a set of VNFs simply form a Distributed Application Facility (DAF).
  • Isolates applications flows from one another with DIFs and
  • Ensures security through:
    • Integrity – including authorisation and authentication of sender and receiver
    • Confidentiality.- information is not accessible – or even visible – for unauthorised elements.
    • DIF Isolation that delivers inherent low cost security with ‘Reusable Containers

Want to read more detail on this, take a look at Section 3.1.6 Mobility of the ARCFIRE deliverable “D2.2 Converged service provider network design report arcfire_D2.2

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