Conference Paper

Using Simu5G as a Realtime Network Emulator to Test MEC Apps in an End-To-End 5G Testbed

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Abstract

Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) allows users to run appli-cations on demand near their mobile access points. MEC appli-cations will exploit 5G infrastructure, and they will have to be designed by taking into account the characteristics of 5G mobile networks. This work describes how to use a system-level simula-tor of 5G networks – namely Simu5G, which evolves the popu-lar 4G network simulator SimuLTE – as a real-time 5G network emulator. This allows designers of networked applications – and MEC ones in particular – to use it as a testbed during the de-ployment. We describe the system setup of Simu5G as an emula-tor, and its emulation capabilities and scale. Moreover, we pre-sent a case study of a MEC testbed using Intel’s Open Network Edge Services Software (OpenNESS) toolkit, based on a recent demonstration in 5GAA (5G Automotive Association).

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... Finally, three previous works of ours [13], [2], [27] are related to this one. Work [13] describes the MEC model developed for SimuLTE. ...
... For instance, the use case described in Section 5 could not have been emulated in that environmentnot even substituting 4G access for 5G. Our paper [2] describes the real-time emulation capabilities of an early release of Simu5G. As a case study, we show therein that Simu5G can provide 5G transport to a MEC app running on Intel OpenNESS [28]. ...
... As a case study, we show therein that Simu5G can provide 5G transport to a MEC app running on Intel OpenNESS [28]. On one hand, the current version of Simu5G is quite different from the one described in [2], especially for what concerns real-time emulation (thanks to the new versions of OMNeT++ and INET). On the other hand, the MEC app described therein is a simple client/server video application running on a virtual machine instantiated on a MEC host. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) will enable context-aware services for users of mobile 4G/5G networks. MEC application developers need tools to aid the design and the performance evaluation of their apps. During the early stages of deployment, they should be able to evaluate the performance impact of design choices - e.g., what round-trip delay can be expected due to the interplay of computation, communication and service consumption. When a prototype of the app exists, it needs to be tested it live, under controllable conditions, to measure key performance indicators. In this paper, we present an open-source framework that allows developers to do all the above. Our framework is based on Simu5G, the OMNeT++-based simulator of 5G (NewRadio) and 4G (LTE) mobile networks. It includes models of MEC entities (i.e., MEC orchestrator, MEC host, etc.) and provides a standard-compliant RESTful interface towards application endpoints. Moreover, it can interface with external applications, and can also run in real time. Therefore, one can use it as a cradle to run a MEC app live, having underneath both 4G/5G data packet transport and MEC services based on information generated by the underlying emulated radio access network. We describe our framework and present a use-case of an emulated MEC-enabled 5G scenario.
... A previous work of ours [1] introduced the theme of real-time emulation with Simu5G. However, that work relies on outdated versions of Simu5G, INET and OMNeT++. ...
... However, that work relies on outdated versions of Simu5G, INET and OMNeT++. Simu5G's version in [1] relied on version 3.6.4 of the INET library, which did not exhibit the same performance as version 4.3, on which this work is based. The differences are many, and in fact involve the mechanism for interfacing with external applications. ...
... The differences are many, and in fact involve the mechanism for interfacing with external applications. All the above translated to improved baseline performance: for instance, it is now possible -and it was not in [1] -to run emulation with FG UEs at high numerologies. Moreover, in this work we have added modeling of BG UEs/gNBs, which allows Simu5G emulation to scale up considerably. ...
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Real-time emulation of 5G networks is highly beneficial for several purposes, such as prototyping or performance evaluation of distributed applications meant to run on 5G networks, research demonstration, evaluation of other technologies (e.g., Multi-access Edge Computing) meant to interoperate with 5G access. In this work, we describe how to use Simu5G, a new end-to-end simulator of 5G networks based on OMNeT++, as a real-time emulator. We describe in detail the modeling choices that allow emulation to scale up without compromising accuracy. We present a thorough evaluation of the Simu5G’s emulation capabilities, showing that networks with hundreds of simulated users and tens of cells can be emulated on a single desktop machine.
... A previous work of ours [1] introduced the theme of real-time emulation with Simu5G. However, that work relies on outdated versions of Simu5G, INET and OMNeT++. ...
... However, that work relies on outdated versions of Simu5G, INET and OMNeT++. Simu5G's version in [1] relied on version 3.6.4 of the INET library, which did not exhibit the same performance as version 4.3, on which this work is based. The differences are many, and in fact involve the mechanism for interfacing with external applications. ...
... The differences are many, and in fact involve the mechanism for interfacing with external applications. All the above translated to improved baseline performance: for instance, it is now possible -and it was not in [1] -to run emulation with FG UEs at high numerologies. Moreover, in this work we have added modeling of BG UEs/gNBs, which allows Simu5G emulation to scale up considerably. ...
Experiment Findings
We verified that Simu5G can run in emulation mode, by connecting real application endpoints to modules in a simulation and having the simulation run in real time. We verified that Simu5G can emulate up to 10 cells and 1000 users on a desktop machine.
... More recently, Nardini et. al. published results on using the system-level network simulator Simu5G in an emulation test bed for multi-access edge computing [8]. ...
... For the communication domain, the discrete event simulator OMNeT++ (version 6.0 Preview 11) is used in conjunction with the widely-used models INET (version 4.3.2), Artery [10], SimuLTE [9]/Simu5G [8]. For the mobility domain, SUMO [7] as well as the crowd dynamics framework Vadere [5] (see Sec. 2) are supported. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Network emulation is a well-established method for demonstrating and testing real devices and mobile apps in a controlled scenario. This paper reports preliminary results for an open-source extension of the CrowNet pedestrian communication framework. It enables the interaction between simulated and real devices using the emulation feature of OMNeT++. The interaction is handled by several OMNeT++ modules that can be combined to match different use-cases. Initial timing measurements have been conducted for an example application which creates decentralized pedestrian density maps based on pedestrian communication. The results indicate that the approach is feasible for scenarios with a limited number of pedestrians. This limitation is mainly due to the real-time simulation requirements in coupled emulation.
... Simu5G [21][22][23][24] is a system-level simulator for the data plane of the 5G NR technology, based on OMNeT++ [25]. It evolves from the well-known SimuLTE, which is a library for the simulation of 4G networks [26,27]. ...
... For instance, Simu5G can be connected to the Intel OpenNESS framework for MEC hosting [31]. Work [22] evaluates Simu5G emulation capabilities. ...
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Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) promises to deliver localized computing power and storage. Coupled with low-latency 5G radio access, this enables the creation of high added-value services for mobile users, such as in-vehicle infotainment or remote driving. The performance of these services as well as their scalability will however depend on how MEC will be deployed in 5G systems. This paper evaluates different MEC deployment options, coherent with the respective 5G migration phases, using an accurate and comprehensive end-to-end (E2E) system simulation model (exploiting Simu5G for radio access, and Intel CoFluent for core network and MEC), taking into account user-related metrics such as response time or MEC latency. Our results show that 4G radio access is going to be a bottleneck, preventing MEC services from scaling up. On the other hand, the introduction of 5G will allow a considerable higher penetration of MEC services.
... Another set of testbed studies have focused on 5G aspects related to multi-access edge computing (MEC), i.e., the paradigm of integrating computing capabilities into the 5G communication network infrastructure and operation, e.g., for in-network computation processing [38]- [40] and in-network re-coding of communication data packets [41]- [43]. Specifically, the studies [44]- [47] have conducted evaluations of MEC related frameworks and tests in the context of 5G communication systems. ...
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