In the context of this PhD Thesis defense, Jorge Baranda Hortigüela presents his work realized at CTTC.
5G marks the beginning of a deep revolution in the mobile network ecosystem, transitioning to a network of services to satisfy the demands of new players, the vertical industries. This revolution implies a redesign of the overall mobile network architecture where complexity, heterogeneity, dynamicity, and flexibility will be the rule. Under such context, automation and programmability are essential to support this vision and overcome current rigid network operation processes. Software Defined Networking (SDN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Network slicing are key enabling techniques to provide such capabilities. Following a bottom-up approach, this thesis starts studying SDN aspects related to the management of wireless network elements and its integration into hierarchical control architectures orchestrating networking resources in a multi-technology (wireless, optical, packet) infrastructure. Then, this work is integrated in an infrastructure manager module executing the joint resource abstraction and allocation of network and compute resources in distributed points of presence (PoPs) connected by a transport network. Above them, a Service Orchestrator module automates the E2E lifecycle management of network services implementing network slices (NS) based on the vertical requirements, the available infrastructure resources, and, while fulfilling service level agreement (SLA) also during run-time operation. This architecture, focused on single administrative domain (AD) scenarios, constitutes the first group of contributions of this thesis. The second group of contributions evolves this initial architecture to deal with the orchestration and sharing of NS and its network slice subnet instances (NSSIs) involving multiple ADs. Additionally, this work also considers SLA management aspects by means of scaling actions during run-time operation in such complex scenarios. The third group of contributions demonstrate the validity and applicability of the resulting architecture by implementing and evaluating it in real experimental infrastructures featuring multiple ADs and transport technologies interconnecting distributed computing PoPs. The performed experimentation considers network service definitions close to real vertical use cases, namely automotive and eHealth, which help bridging the gap between network providers and vertical industries stakeholders.