Evaluation of a Blockchain-Enabled Resource Management Mechanism for NGNs
A new era in ICT has begun with the evolution of Next Generation Networks (NGNs) and the development of human-centric applications. Ultra-low latency, high throughput, and high availability are a few of the main characteristics of modern networks. Network Providers (NPs) are responsible for the development and maintenance of network infrastructures ready to support the most demanding applications that should be available not only in urban areas but in every corner of the earth. The NP’s must collaborate to offer high- quality services and keep their overall cost low. The collaboration among competitive entities can in principle be regulated by a trusted 3rd party or by a distributed approach/technology which can guarantee integrity, security, and trust. This paper examines the use of blockchain technology for resource management and negotiation among NPs and presents the results of experiments conducted in a dedicated real testbed. The implementation of the resource management mechanism is described in a Smart Contract (SC) and the testbeds use the Raft and the IBFT consensus mechanisms respectively. The goal of this paper is two-fold: to assess its performance in terms of transaction throughput and latency so that we can assess the granularity at which this solution can operate (e.g. support resource re-allocation among NPs on micro-service level or not) and define implementation-specific parameters like the consensus mechanism that is the most suitable for this use case based on performance metrics.
Blockchain, NGNs, Resource management, Consensus, Performance