SoftFIRE Objectives


The SoftFIRE federated testbed comprises of a set of open, experimental facilities and platforms developed at European, National or regional level and integrated into a reliable, diversified experimental infrastructure, covering important aspects of the state of the art in networking and applications such as programmability, security and interworking. This integrated infrastructure has the goal to enable, nurture and support an ecosystem of companies interested in developing services and applications or to create a state of the art control middleware based on NFV/SDN technologies and in perspective 5G.

As an enabling tool, the infrastructure can be made available on demand to other organizations for development purposes or for testing and consolidation ones.

SoftFIRE is focussing on three major features that are progressively offered to its ecosystem:

Interworking is the wanted property that  guarantee that islands with new or different technological capabilities are interoperable in spite of different underlying technologies.
Federation and interworking between different nodes of a multifaceted environment are provided, and they will progressively checked and assessed. In addition new technologies and solutions are also checked ith legacy ones in order to ensure the smoother path possible from initial infrastructure to the newer one. Attention is also be paid to the emergent applications of SDN and Virtualization to terminals and edge devices as well as the evolution of these technologies as a fundamental part of the evolution towards 5G for minimisation of latency. These issues are coped with in strong cooperation with Third Parties and by means of Open Calls.

Programmability is the pursued capability offered by the combination of SDN plus NFV to directly govern and orchestrate network resources and to create virtual infrastructures on them in order to support the communication, storage and processing needs of networked applications. Programmability is challenged, assessed and evaluated against composite systems that comprise islands with different technologies, different management rules and different network capabilities. A proposition of SoftFIRE  is to consolidate the middleware infrastructure and empower European companies to become prominent providers or users of these solutions.

Security is the crucial property of these new programmable systems, in fact the opening up of programmable interfaces should occur in a safe and secure manner. Programmability is an essential feature, but if the security of interfaces, underlying mechanisms and systems is not guaranteed, then it becomes a risk rather than an opportunity. These technologies will not be adopted if they do not prove secure since their initial adoption and deployment phase. Security is a fundamental requirement that determine the acceptability of this envisage technology.


The SoftFIRE goals is then to make available a federated testbed able to support interoperability, programmability and security features and to offer it to the widest community of developers and practitioners available in order to help to progress the development of NFV/SDN based functions and applications.