Network slicing is a new paradigm for future 5G networks where the network infrastructure is divided into slices devoted to different services and customized to their needs. With this paradigm, it is essential to allocate to each slice the needed resources, which requires the ability to forecast their respective demands. To this end, we present DeepCog, a novel data analytics tool for the cognitive management of resources in 5G systems. DeepCog forecasts the capacity needed to accommodate future traffic demands within individual network slices while accounting for the operator’s desired balance between resource overprovisioning (i.e., allocating resources exceeding the demand) and service request violations (i.e., allocating less resources than required). To achieve its objective, DeepCog hinges on a deep learning architecture that is explicitly designed for capacity forecasting. Comparative evaluations with real-world measurement data prove that DeepCog’s tight integration of machine learning into resource orchestration allows for substantial (50% or above) reduction of operating expenses with respect to resource allocation solutions based on state-of-the-art mobile traffic predictors. Moreover, we leverage DeepCog to carry out an extensive first analysis of the trade-off between capacity overdimensioning and unserviced demands in adaptive, sliced networks and in presence of real-world traffic.
The economic sustainability of future mobile networks will largely depend on the strong specialization of its offered services. Network operators will need to provide added value to their tenants, by moving from the traditional one-size-fits-all strategy to a set of virtual end-to-end instances of a common physical infrastructure, named network slices, which are especially tailored to the requirements of each application. Implementing network slicing has significant consequences in terms of resource management: service customization entails assigning to each slice fully dedicated resources, which may also be dynamically reassigned and overbooked in order to increase the cost-efficiency of the system. In this paper, we adopt a data-driven approach to quantify the efficiency of resource sharing in future sliced networks. Building on metropolitan-scale real-world traffic measurements, we carry out an extensive parametric analysis that highlights how diverse performance guarantees, technological settings, and slice configurations impact the resource utilization at different levels of the infrastructure in presence of network slicing. Our results provide insights on the achievable efficiency of network slicing architectures, their dimensioning, and their interplay with resource management algorithms at different locations and reconfiguration timescales.