University of Glasgow enters research agreement with Rakuten Mobile

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The aim is to prototype edge management tools to simplify the operation of large-scale edge compute infrastructure and the services that run on them.

In particular, this collaborative research aims to address technical challenges related to effective management of edge compute resources and low- latency traffic; key drivers for 5G infrastructure and services.

The operator will provide financial and other support to a post-doctoral research assistant and two PhD students of the university’s School of Computing Science.

The positions will last for 24 months and 42 months respectively, and the students will research edge computing, specifically monitoring models and future transport protocols.
 
The research will be led by University of Glasgow senior lecturers Dr Colin Perkins and Dr Jeremy Singer.

Vital role


“Edge computing plays a vital role in further improving the efficiency of Rakuten Mobile’s end- to-end fully virtualized cloud native network,” commented Dr Pierre Imai, Head of Research and Innovation at Rakuten Mobile.

He added, “We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with the world class team at the University of Glasgow on the research into these advanced technologies.” 



The team at the University of Glasgow bring extensive experience with in-network and edge computation, transport protocols, and programming language runtimes, and operating the EPSRC-funded FRμIT testbed that prototyped new approaches to edge computing. 

The FRμIT testbed used hundreds of nodes built from hardware such as the Raspberry Pi to develop a UK-wide compute cluster for key distributed applications.

Low cost, low power

The project aimed to demonstrate that low-cost, low-power computing infrastructure could provide an alternative to the centralised data centre model, which demands large amounts of land, power and bandwidth to run. 



“We look forward to working with the team at Rakuten Mobile," said Dr. Colin Perkins.

“This gives us a unique opportunity to apply our research to help improve the management of an advanced 5G network, while giving our PhD students the opportunity to learn from deployment experience and improve the next generation of network protocols and standards.” 



Dr. Jeremy Singer added: "This collaborative project plays to our strengths at Glasgow, where we have a unique blend of expertise in systems software and applied networking. The postdoc and PhD students on the project will benefit greatly from the real-world industrial context of the research – not an ivory tower in sight, instead the more pragmatic cell towers of a deployed 5G network."