EXTREME testbed ® – EXperimental Testbed for Research on xG cloud Mobile nEtworks
The EXTREME Testbed® is a multi-purpose fully reconfigurable testbed that serves to validate 5G/6G/xG cloud/edge and networking services and infrastructure in close-to-real scenarios. In this sense, it enables testing services with varying requirements to adapt to the needs of any vertical industry (e.g., eHealth, Industry 4.0/5.0, automotive, media/xR, PPDR). It features 20 high performance servers with 40+ CPU cores for network function virtualization, another 5 high performance servers with 24 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces for SDN and network virtualization, 7 more servers and 8 Intel NUCs for 5G/6G RAN connectivity and 20 general purpose PCs, a gigabit Ethernet network for their flexible/arbitrary interconnection in the experiments, commercial networking (e.g., Cisco Catalyst 6513 and Cisco SG350) and measurement equipment (e.g., Ixia 1600T), and an out-of-band control network for testbed and experiment management. It also features several tools for testbed configuration (incl. OS image loading) and experiment management, including a real-time monitoring architecture, to guarantee experiment repeatability. These tools also enable completely reconfiguring the experiment setup in minutes. It was also conceived to easily integrate new technologies (e.g., the 802.11ad and 802.11ac cards that are part of its basic infrastructure) and equipment (e.g., new servers to emulated edge or cloud data centers). In addition to the general-purpose framework, it also integrates an in-building Mesh Network. featuring a 5G island with 802.11ac (5GHz band) in the access and 802.11ad (mmWave) in the backhaul/fronthaul.
To conduct 5G/6G tests on the testbed, it is equipped with multiple 5G Core and RAN flavors: one Amarisoft CallBox Ultimate, two Amarisoft CallBox Mini, one Amarisoft SimBox (UE Emulator), and Several SDR (USRPs) that enable emulation of 5G/6G RAN in combination with FlexRAN, OpenAirInterface, and Open5GS software suits. Moreover, for testing verticals, two QCars, HoloLens, and 8K Camera are also available.
The experimental framework also features a complete open source ETSI NFV-compliant management and orchestration stack, including end-to-end network slice management and AI-based automated network management. Key building blocks include the service/slice orchestrator, the resource layer, the monitoring platform, a data engineering pipeline, and an AIML platform. It also features container orchestration technologies (e.g., Kubernetes) for cloud resource management, including multi-cloud/federated service management. Some of the main components were fully designed and developed by the Services as networkS (SaS) research unit of CTTC.
The EXTREME Testbed has been used since 2004 to interconnect with other partners in the scope of EU R&D projects (e.g., 5Growth, 5G-Transformer, 5G-Crosshaul, BeFEMTO, WIP) to validate the designed schemes. It is also used in the framework of technology transfer projects with industry (e.g., Facebook, Orange, Aviat Networks, VozTelecom, Cisco).