Towards superfluid Network Function Virtualization (NFV)

  • Date February 2, 2017
  • Hour 11.15 am
  • Room GSSI Library
  • Speaker Stefano Salsano (University of Rome Tor Vergata)
  • Area Computer Science


Network Softwarization is an overall trend that is changing the way in which communication networks are designed, implemented, deployed and run. The Network Function Virtualization (NFV) paradigm is an important part of this trend: functions that were traditionally run in physical network nodes are now virtualized and executed over commodity hardware in data centers, similar to what happens with Cloud Computing for IT servers.
Starting from the NFV paradigm, the EU research project Superfluidity promotes the vision of “superfluid” network, which will have the ability to instantiate services on-the-fly, run them anywhere in the network (core, aggregation, edge), exploit heterogeneous hardware and virtualized resources. The Superfluidity solution is based on: a decomposition of network components and services into elementary and reusable primitives; a native, converged cloud-based architecture; the virtualization of radio and network processing tasks; platform-independent abstractions, which permit the reuse of network functions across heterogeneous hardware platforms.
In the talk, after presenting the Superfluidity vision, I will focus on a couple of specific topics:

  • The Unikernels lightweight virtualization technology and its management aspects;
  • Modeling and composing Virtual Network Functions: the quest for the Orchestrator.


Stefano Salsano is an Associate Professor in the Electronic Engineering Dept. of University of Rome Tor Vergata. He received his Laurea degree in 1994 (Univ. of Rome Tor Vergata) and his PhD in 1998 (Univ. of Rome “La Sapienza”). From 1997 to 2000 he has been with CoRiTeL, a research institute on telecommunications, where he has been coordinator of the research activities in the IP related area. In November 2000 he has joined the University of Rome Tor Vergata as Assistant Professor. He has participated in several research projects funded by the EU (INSIGNIA, ELISA, AQUILA, FIFTH, SIMPLICITY, E2R, SMS, PERIMETER, CONVERGENCE, OFELIA, OPENLAB, GN3PLUS/DREAMER, SCISSOR, GN4, SUPERFLUIDITY), by the European Space Agency and by the Italian Ministry of Research. His current research interests include Network Function Virtualization, Software Defined Networking, Cybersecurity, Information-Centric Networking, Mobile and Pervasive Computing, Seamless Mobility. He has published more than 130 papers and book chapters that have been collectively cited more than 2500 times. His h-index is 27 on G-Scholar.