A summary description of the project objectives

Emerging types of applications, rich in user-created or provider-created content, enabled by P2P technology, with high demands for network resources are rapidly changing the landscape of network requirements and operations creating new challenges in network and service management, configuration, deployment, protocols etc. P2P is primarily a technology that fosters self-deployment and self-organisation, thus, reducing operational costs, while it achieves optimised resource utilisation for the deployed applications and services. In contrast, IMS as a control plane technology primarily addresses issues of heterogeneity of access technologies, addressing schemes, AAA, security and mobility management.

VITAL++ major objective is to combine and experiment with the best of the two worlds, namely, IMS-like control plane functionality and P2P technology giving rise into a new communication paradigm that will bring a wide range of benefits. The key to achieving this objective, is to put this paradigm under strenuous experimentation, carried out under realistic network conditions using popular applications. To this end, VITAL++ is putting together a pan-European testbed comprised of existing geographically distributed test sites integrated by IMS technology. This will be thoroughly tested by reference content applications and services that use P2P technology as a means for their distribution and achieving satisfactory QoS levels through network resource optimisation algorithms rather than non-scalable QoS reservation operations.

VITAL++ mainly aspires at defining and illustrating a new communication paradigm that will demonstrate how content-based applications and services, highly heterogeneous in terms of user functions and distributed in the network, can be enrolled in the frame designated by the operations of traditional telecommunication networks and thus be made widely available to the users with proper Quality of Service, security and adequate privacy. VITAL++ will use the IMS technology to introduce its paradigm, targeting at the following technological objectives:

• Define methods for binding P2P technology applications with the user oriented concepts of call setup and administration of the NGN networks.
• Define methods for binding the QoS mechanisms of NGN networks with the highly distributed nature of the P2P applications and their mechanisms for discovering and managing various types of content.
• Define mechanisms for secure content delivery.
• Integrate within the P2P applications the framework of user identification and authentication.
• Designate a generic frame of P2P integration with NGN networks that will include:
• Perception of P2P services.
• Terminal issues and user operations (e.g. mobility management).
• Business models for P2P exploitation in NGN networks.
• Building on the VITAL IMS platform, create a prototype network environment that will integrate P2P applications and perform extensive experimentation on the new communication paradigm through appropriate trial scenarios.
•Demonstrate a number of P2P application trials involving real time content like video, audio and multimedia.
•Use the technological knowledge of the project for contributions to standardisation bodies, scientific magazines, conferences and related events.