Network virtualization and SDN-based routing allow carriers to flexibly configure their networks in response to demand and unexpected network disruptions. However, cellular networks, by nature, pose some unique challenges because of user mobility and control/data plane partitioning, which calls for new architectures and provisioning paradigms. In this paper, we address the latter part by devising algorithms that can provision the data plane to create a distributed Mobile Edge Cloud (MEC), which provides opportunities for lower latencies and increased resilience (through placement of network functions at more distributed datacenter locations) and accounts for service disruption that could be incurred because of user mobility between the service areas of different datacenters. Through evaluations with topology and traffic data from a major carriers’s network, we show that, compared to static, centralized networks, careful virtualized provisioning can yield significant savings in network costs while still minimizing service disruption due to mobility.
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