The roll-out of 5G technology will nurture the realization of broadband, ultra-reliable, and zero latency services. Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) are among the key enablers for 5G. The synergy between NFV and MEC allows migration of Virtual Network Functions (VNF) from cloud to the edge of the network thereby adding agility to the softwarized 5G networks. The overall orchestration of VNF includes, but is not limited to, processing VNF requests, selecting appropriate VNF, migrating VNF from cloud to MEC, instantiating migrated VNF at MEC, settling payment according to a VNF’s usage, maintaining VNF’s reputation, etc. The orchestration is not foolproof and raises doubts about its trustworthiness. To address all the existing issues in a unified manner, we leverage Blockchain technology as yet another enabling technology for MEC-enabled 5G. Thus, we propose a Blockchain-enhanced architecture for secure VNF orchestration such that issues like authenticity, integrity, confidentiality, reputation, payment transfer, and many more are resolved. To furnish a Proof-of-Concept (PoC), we develop a prototypical DApp (Decentralized Application) using Ethereum Blockchain and Suricata as an exemplar VNF. Further, we discuss the strong resiliency of the proposed architecture against numerous well-known attacks.

Mishra Raaj Anand, Kalla Anshuman, Shukla Kaustubh, Nag Avishek, Liyanage Madhusanka

Publication type:
A4 Article in conference proceedings

Place of publication:
Proceedings of the 2020 IEEE 3rd 5G World Forum (5GWF)

5G, blockchain, MEC, NFV, Smart contract, VNF

13 October 2020

Full citation:
R. A. Mishra, A. Kalla, K. Shukla, A. Nag and M. Liyanage, “B-VNF: Blockchain-enhanced Architecture for VNF Orchestration in MEC-5G Networks,” 2020 IEEE 3rd 5G World Forum (5GWF), Bangalore, India, 2020, pp. 229-234, doi: 10.1109/5GWF49715.2020.9221075


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