Work plan

The technical core of the project consist of four workpackages: WP2 (behavioral forwarding abstractions), WP3 (data plane design and implementation), WP4 (control plane extensions) and WP5 (applications), each covering a major research and innovation dimension of the BEBA project. A further WP6 (validation and trials) is deployed to provide a demonstration of the BEBA concept and applications in both controlled and real world scenarios. The project is finally complemented by a work package dedicated to the project management (WP1) and by a dissemination, standardization, and exploitation work package (WP7).



WP1 provides the project with a light-weight and flexible technical and administrative management service, ensuring that the project objectives are met and the project timeline is respected. It will take care of rapid and effective decision-making on technical and organisational issues, and will provide full and timely compliance with EU administrative and reporting requirements.


WP2 has the twofold goal of:

  1. designing a data plane API and formal language to enable stateful dynamic (real-time) adaptation of the forwarding rules (and of the extended monitoring/security action set defined in WP3) within the network nodes, and
  2. prove such concept through SW and HW prototyping work.

In more details, WP2 comprises the following three specific objectives:

  • Basic Mealy Machine based API for stateful adaptation of forwarding and processing actions;
  • Extended XFSM based API supporting programmable triggering conditions and registry updates;
  • Proof of concept HW and SW implementation of the data plane API and the internal flow computing architecture, including integration with an existing SDN controller. 


WP3 targets the design and implementation of an NFV (software) BEBA switch. This WP targets a near-toproduction, mature, implementation by developing the BEBA API over a widely employed open source platform (candidate being OpenVSwitch), meanwhile providing an high performance virtual switch exploiting advanced software acceleration techniques. The expected result is a virtual switch usable in practical high speed operational environments.

In addition, WP3 commits to identify, design and implement supplementary primitives, currently not available in OpenFlow, which permit to reprogram a generic BEBA node into a purpose-specific middleboxtype node, thus addressing the need to provide open APIs and extended set of actions for broader network functions such as those targeted by the ETSI Industrial Specification Group on Network Functions Virtualization.

In summary, WP3’s specific objectives are:

  • Identify data plane extensions for supporting purpose-specific middlebox-type network functions;
  • Design and implement BEBA’s data plane and its extensions in a reference open source SW switch;
  • Accelerate critical data plane BEBA’s operations to achieve very high speed performance in SW.


BEBA provides the unprecedented ability to support the platform-agnostic programming of stateful control of the forwarding plane inside the network nodes. In sight of this, WP4 addresses two crucial objectives.

  • Devise means to offload control tasks inside the switch while keeping the SDN controller informed and in control of the delegated tasks, and assess the relevant benefits;
  • Provide automatic means to validate the correctness of the configuration, secure the configuration, and reliably deploy BEBA nodes in the network.


WP5 addresses the way applications and services can exploit BEBA’s benefits. WP5 proposes and develops applications which exploit the ability to use (in part or in full) in-network stateful processing tasks as well as extended primitives inside the switch. WP5 comprises two main phases of work:

  1. at an early stage of the project, identify and analyse use cases and application scenarios;
  2. in the next phase, implement carefully selected applications that will take benefit from the extended network programmability functionalities identified and developed in WP2 (Behavioral forwarding abstraction), WP3 (Data Plane design and implementation) and WP4 (Control Plane extensions). Those applications will be demonstrated and used for trial and validation in WP6 (Validation and trials).

The WP5 objectives can be detailed as follows:

  • identify use cases and applications scenarios whose detailed analysis and functional break-down will allow providing of requirements as an input for WP2, WP3 and WP4;
  • design and develop a first class of applications that we call middlebox applications”, to highlight the ability of a BEBA node to support middlebox-type functionalities via software configured using the platform agnostic API and the extended primitives;
  • design and develop a second class of applications that we call network-wide applications” to demonstrate monitoring, network security, or IT services involving multiple node configuration and dynamic chaining of in-network functionalities across multiple nodes.


This WP will thoroughly assess BEBA’s results in both realistic (controlled) as well as real (uncontrolled) environments. The WP has two assessment goals:

  • Performance, functional and applications’ assessment in a controlled environment, for single node, network of nodes, relevant control, and applications support.
  • On-field real world assessment: a real world deployment will be deployed over the CESNET nation scale infrastructure, to assess BEBA nodes and networking functionalities with real world traffic sources.


The WP7 relevant objectives and activities are:

  • Provide visibility and acceptance of the project results (white papers, publications, participation to conferences, workshops and panels, organisation of events);
  • Run workshops, contribute to EU FP7 activities such as cluster meetings, Future Internet Assembly, etc…
  • Establish liaison with related activity groups at European and international level
  • Promote the BEBA solutions within the ONF community and other relevant standard bodies
  • Promote the open source implementation of the BEBA software components