Our Research focuses on different aspects of future networks and communications.

We want to design open communication systems that enable multiple services providers to share network resources as they compete to satisfy the demands of a diverse set of end users.

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Extreme Sharing

Extreme sharing of bandwidth, base stations, sensors, processing power, and storage creates the illusion of infinite resources. And it does it in a sustainable, cost-effective way. This, in turn, supports cloud-based approaches to resource sharing.

How can networks share in this way? By employing sophisticated management so they can allocate different resources on an end-to-end basis. This will help them meet differing management goals. It will also mean they will understand the trade-offs between different resources used at different network locations. And be able to exploit them.



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Open Communications

Right now, it’s challenging for operators to get the value they need from networks to justify large investment. What’s the solution? We believe network resources can be made available to an unlimited number of service providers.

Think of them as a pool of resources open to contributions from corporations and crowdsourced from individuals. In this approach, operators are compensated by a wide range of service providers who get value from their specific customers. In order to work, it requires open interfaces, open protocols and transparent interactions between stakeholders. But it also requires something more — extreme sharing. This is a significant focus of our research work.



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The Internet-of-Things

At CONNECT, we want to harness the possibilities arising from the ability to programme networks and their components. As the Internet-of-Things develops, the sensors and actuators will, themselves, become smart. The previously unconnected devices in which they exist will be able to connect over networks. The end-components may then be shared in clusters, for example, to manage the lighting, heating and security of buildings in response to their environment.



Smart Sensors Radio Access Nodes Cooperative Wireless



Service-Aware Networks

In our vision of the future, software services will be aware of the networks upon which they run. This will enable them to directly configure how the networks work to meet their own specific needs. And, at the same time, networked devices will manage their own operation both individually and collectively.



Resource Management Architectures Security & Privacy



Integration and testbeds

Testbeds provide opportunities for us to integrate the results of our research into Network-aware Services, Service-aware Networks and the Internet of Things. A single, integrated, national testbed enables CONNECT to go further. It helps us promote Ireland as a location where it’s possible to ‘test the future’ while exploiting Ireland’s favourable regulatory and geographical environment.

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Optical Network

This facility in Trinity College Dublin includes three 16x16 ports optical MEMs switches, a 48 port 10G OpenFlow switch, a 20G network traffic analyser, plus a number of 10G capable servers with several single mode transceivers. It also includes a number of FPGA development boards with multiple 10G capable ports, used to develop new LR-PON protocols. The testbed is linked to other European nodes through the GEANT European network. Additional optical facilities for the access and core are available for collaboration with researchers within CONNECT and also with industry partners.


Datacentre and Cloud Networking

The data centre facility at TSSG (Telecommunications and Software and Systems Group) is an energy efficient data centre which hosts production systems, including IT infrastructure, for a number of government agencies. This infrastructure includes Ireland’s newest and largest supercomputer. The cloud networking testbed has a significant compute capacity, including a 100TB Hadoop cluster (2 master nodes, 8 slave nodes), 48 servers for virtualisation (via OpenStack, a primary SAN and a backup SAN in a remote site (with EMC VLPEX providing I/O mirroring)) having ~50TB available for experimental purposes, as well as 15 SDN-enabled network switches and a full suite of Cisco unified communications software and associated terminal devices.


Internet-of-Things

A neighbourhood-scale Internet of Things testbed, located at CIT (Cork Institute of Technology), is focused on energy and infrastructure management using extensive wireless sensors, embedded monitoring and control systems for energy demand side management, micro-grid control systems, building access control, and wireless object localisation and occupancy detection sensors, all integrated into an Internet-of-Things service platform called NICORE. NICORE allows CONNECT partners to integrate new sensor and CPS developments and build innovative IoT services within the testbed.