Aether 1.5 Release
The focus of this release is an update of Aether to support the 5G SD-Core. This included a redesign of Aether modeling and workflows, integration of the 5G SD-Core into Aether, and an update of the 4G SD-Core to be compliant with the 5G Aether API. 4G Small Cells are readily available and deployed at multiple Aether installations. The 5G Core is part of a Deutsche Telekom SD-RAN trial and is being used with 5G-SA disaggregated RAN components (CU/DU/RU).
Deployment of Aether has been demonstrated on Anthos and on Elastic Kubernetes Service. Persistent test deployments are now maintained by ONF to further evaluate Aether functionality on those platforms.
New Features and Improvements
4G and 5G Connectivity Service
Aether supports mobile/cellular connectivity using both the 4G and the 5G SD-Core. The Aether ROC may be used with both cores simultaneously. The 4G modeling used by Aether-1.0 has been replaced with newer modeling that unifies the 4G and 5G cores in a single modeling abstraction.
Device Grouping and Network Slicing
Aether supports a Network Slicing abstraction where similar connected devices can be aggregated together into a Device-Group, and different Device Groups can be allocated to different network slices (Virtual Connectivity Service - VCS).
Grouping connected devices affords ease of management - devices in the same group are configured together and afforded the same treatment in the network. Separating device-groups into different slices affords isolation between groups. The data plane connectivity for different slices are realized through different User Plane Functions (UPFs).
Furthermore, Aether supports Access Control - devices not part of any Device-Group are rejected by the network.
The Aether Portal is a modern secure Single Page Application implemented in Angular. The portal integrates both control of the Aether Network and metrics reported by Aether components in a single pane of glass with multi-tenancy separation. The portal allows complex control operations to be batched together as one transaction into a convenient “basket” and then atomically committed to the configuration. All of the functions of the Portal are also available on a secure REST API, with an OpenAPI 3 schema.
Role-Based Access Control
The Aether control API supports role-based access control, together with external authentication using OpenID Connect. These access controls are used in the Aether Portal to limit which enterprises a portal user is allowed to view or modify. The Aether Portal supports multiple enterprises simultaneously.
Flexible Kubernetes Deployment Options
Fully managed Aether deployment using Rancher is officially supported. Together with Rancher, Aether allows configuration, management, and monitoring of Kubernetes clusters. These clusters can be used to host the Aether Connectivity Service as well as customer edge applications. Support for other managed Kubernetes services such as Google Anthos or Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service should be considered beta and not officially supported.
Aether uses automated testing based on Jenkins and Robot Framework. The tests performed are described below.
Functional Coverage: Attach,detach, dataplane traffic, handover, TAU, paging, error scenarios, few failure/restart of network functions
Scale and Performance tests utilizing BESS
Functional Coverage: register, deregister, dataplane traffic scenarios, handover, TAU, DDN, few error scenarios, few failure/restart of network functions
Scale tests (BESS)
Jenkins jobs for functional and scale tests can be found on Aether Jenkins - SD-Core System Tests
Functional API and GUI test coverage
Jenkins jobs: Aether Jenkins - ROC System Tests
4G and 5G Sanity Test coverage:
Configure ROC with related models for 4G and 5G
Validate for attach/register UE, pings, detach/degister UE
Jenkins Jobs: Aether Jenkins - Aether System Tests
Aether documentation is available at docs.aetherproject.org
Known Issues and Limitations
A given UE may participate in a 4G core or a 5G core, but not both.
4G UEs may each participate in a single DeviceGroup, and 4G DeviceGroups may each participate in a single VCS. This restriction does not apply to 5G UEs.
Application filtering is modeled in the API and the GUI, but application filtering is not active in the data plane.
Disabling/deleting a device group from a VCS does not restrict UE from getting attached to the network [SDCORE-467]
Component Versions in the 1.5 Release
Helm Chart Versions and their component charts and containers: