The implementation of the project is to be fulfilled by carrying out four main work packages (WPs) in parallel during the funding period: 

WP0. Project management (Resp. UPSaclay): The goal of this WP is to track the progress of milestones and deliverables against the project schedule with the agreed budget/time frame.

WP1. Project Architecture and Scheduling Requirements:The goal of this WP is to set the architectural basis and the requirements for the HEIDIS scheduling framework encompassing radio, transport and computing resources, for forthcoming 5G and beyond-5G network environments undergoing function disaggregation and softwarization. The introduction of function decomposition into microservices, the increasing adoption of novel serverless computing and Function as a Service (FaaS) paradigms in the scaling of computing resources, at both radio access and core network functions is indeed exposing new opportunities for dynamic resource allocation within radio resource architecture layers and across multiple resource domains; in this context, the radio access takes a key leading functional role in the multi-resource provisioning chain. We plan to highlight what will be the current state of interfaces stemming from the Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) and Software-Defined RAN (SD-RAN) initiatives, introducing novel scheduling points working at different time scales but to be coordinated vertically; we will then specify novel interfaces and functional elements required for handling horizontal multi-resource scheduling and orchestration in coordination with SDN and NFV/Cloud systems, highlighting the novel challenges opportunities in related link and computing system scheduling as well. New behaviors related to the derived hierarchical and disaggregated scheduling systems and decision problems therein will be modeled using offline and online optimization, including game-theoretic and stochastic modeling. Two reference use-cases of the project are defined and characterized in WP, one about smart-grid and power systems networks, and one about multi-operator infrastructure sharing; the use-cases will also be put in relationship with the functional architecture and related scheduling models of the derived decision-making problems.

WP2. Enhanced software-defined radio access architecture: WP2 aims at supporting the design of novel software network architecture elements related to O-RAN and SD-RAN open-source project initiatives. We will in particular develop the novel interfaces identified in WP1 and decline them in system-level requirements. WP2 will in particular cover efforts related to the integration of cross-layer scheduling approaches, to support both vertical communication across entities (e.g., for the radio resource communications between distributed and centralized units, and CUs and the orchestration layer) and horizontal communications among resource controllers, happening not only at the orchestration layer but also at the near-real time scheduling level. This WP aims to go beyond the current O-RAN architecture by improving components, intelligent functions, open interfaces, and proposing other necessary extensions in order to address project use cases. Work from this WP is expected to lead to open-source contribution to future ORAN releases.

WP3. Smart-NIC systems design and programming:The goal of WP3 is to continue the development of the HEIDIS scheduling environment  to the SDN environment for link resource management. Indeed, in the multi-resource HEIDIS context, the link resource is managed by an SDN architecture, where the SDN controller interacts with its radio counterpart (RIC) and its NFV/cloud counterpart (VNF Manager), to perform near-real time control-plane operations in the configuration of data-plane switching elements as specified in D1.3 and developed in D2.3 for the SD-RAN interfaces.. Besides SDN switches, the design of Smart-NICs for highly programmable SDNs is a hot research topic thanks to their stronger programmability potential using stateful switching and advanced switching rule definition with languages such as P4. In HEIDIS, we plan to design a Smart-NIC system able to integrate the multi-resource hierarchical and disaggregated scheduling with real-time stateful switching behaviors. We plan to design the SDN real-time scheduler using P4-NetFPGA systems and contribute to the corresponding open-source project.

WP4. Open-Source Management and Experimentation: The goal of WP4 is the validation of the implementations of components and the proposed scheduling algorithms in an experimental platform assessing the project Use Case. The basic identified software platform components are O-RAN Software Community, ONOS, CORD/OMEC, and (if needed) ONAP for, respectively, the radio, link, NFV/MEC and orchestration layers, and other open-source initiatives that may be launched in the time frame from the submission to the actual project kick-off. Thanks to the project, this basic software ecosystem is expected to get enriched with the novel interfaces among these functional bricks defined in WP1 and designed in WP2, and the possibility to use Smart-NIC for network acceleration as studied in WP3. WP4 will also cover the open-source contribution effort to the above-mentioned existing open-source projects, as well as the launch and maintenance of novel open-source projects related to project activities. WP4 will take advantage of the test environment built around the Open Testing and Integration Center (OTIC) of the O-RAN community made available by Orange on its premises starting from fall 2021, which will be part of a European lab network. The Open Testing and Integration Centre (OTIC) provides a collaborative, open, and impartial working environment. Multiple OTICs may exist in different regions around the world; each of them may focus on different O-RAN functions, interfaces, blueprints, as well as different cloud-deployment scenarios as those depicted in Fig. 2 for VNF testing etc. In this context, Orange intends to open an OTIC on its premises at Orange Gardens-Chatillon, connected with other labs in Europe in order to provide an end-to-end O-RAN chain for test and integration. In this sense, the HEIDIS partners will be able to use the tool chain and other open source and proprietary components that will be necessary to validate the proposed architecture and scheduling algorithms.