Digital Infrastructures constitutes the cornerstone of the digital transformation of our society. As such, Innovation in this domain represents an industrial need, a sovereignty concern and a security threat. These have been illustrated lately by debates with respect to 5G deployment.
Without Digital Infrastructure, none of the advanced services envisaged for our society is feasible. Digital Infrastructures are both highly sophisticated and complex physical systems but at the same time, they form even more complex, evolving and massive virtual systems. Their design, deployment and operation are critical. However, to achieve these goals, the research community needs to address significant challenges regarding their efficiency, trust, availability, scalability, reliability, range, performance, programmability, trust, security and privacy.
Although some important work has been done on these topics, the stringent need for a scientific instrument, a test platform to support the research in this domain is an urgent concern. A strong top-quality but fragmented expertise already exists in Europe and can be used to build this highly required experimentation platform and environment.
SLICES is our answer to this need. It is ambitious, practical but overall timely and necessary.
SLICES is a holistic approach where all resources (compute, storage, network) are associated to continuously design, operate and automate the full life cycle management of applications and services.
Offer a wide variety of advanced computing and networking resources in order to respond to the needs for research and experimentation on future dynamic systems;
Federate research communities working on these subjects from software and computer system architects to transversal (vertical) applications;
Involve stakeholders from supply side to demand side, enabling the testing of new technologies but also accelerating the deployment of transformative services;
Provide advanced test tools to ensure reproducibility through an automated data repository and support an open data approach for these communities;
Build the capacity by strongly contributing to the important education effort targeting both students and engineers.