BRAIN: Blockchain-based Reverse Auction for Infrastructure Supply in Virtual Network Functions-as-a-Service

Muriel Franco, Eder Scheid, Lisandro Granville, Burkhard Stiller

2019 IFIP Networking Conference (IFIP Networking), Warsaw, Poland, 2019, pp. 1-9


Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is transforming the way in which network operators acquire and manage network services. By using virtualization technologies to move packet processing from dedicated hardware to software, NFV has introduced a new market focused on the offer and distribution of Virtual Network Functions (VNF). Infrastructure Providers (InP) can benefit from an NFV market by providing their infrastructures to fulfill demands of end-users that, in turn, acquire VNFs-as-a-Service (VNFaaS). In this context, solutions that promote the competition between InPs can lead to lower prices, while increasing VNF performance to accommodate specific demands of end-users. In this paper, BRAIN, a blockchain-based reverse auction is presented to introduce an auditable solution in which InPs can compete to host VNFs taking into account the demands of each particular end-user. Such a solution helps reduce costs involved in VNF’s commercialization and also monetize NFV-enabled infrastructures. BRAIN is supported by a case study that provides evidence of the solution’s feasibility and effectiveness. A discussion regarding blockchain advantages and drawbacks in this use-case (e.g., additional costs and time) concludes this paper.