(19)
(11)EP 3 329 703 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
26.06.2019 Bulletin 2019/26

(21)Application number: 15828894.4

(22)Date of filing:  23.12.2015
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H04W 8/12(2009.01)
H04W 28/08(2009.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2015/000252
(87)International publication number:
WO 2017/018965 (02.02.2017 Gazette  2017/05)

(54)

VIRTUAL MOBILE MANAGEMENT ENTITY MANAGEMENT

VERWALTUNG EINER VIRTUELLEN MOBILEN VERWALTUNGSEINHEIT

GESTION D'ENTITÉ DE GESTION MOBILE VIRTUELLE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 27.07.2015 US 201562197447 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
06.06.2018 Bulletin 2018/23

(73)Proprietor: Intel IP Corporation
Santa Clara, CA 95054 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • CHOU, Joey
    Scottsdale, AZ 85258 (US)

(74)Representative: HGF Limited 
Fountain Precinct Balm Green
Sheffield S1 2JA
Sheffield S1 2JA (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
  
  • "3rd Generation Partnership Project; Technical Specification Group Services and System Aspects; Telecommunication management; Study on network management of virtualized networks (Release 13)", 3GPP STANDARD; 3GPP TR 32.842, 3RD GENERATION PARTNERSHIP PROJECT (3GPP), MOBILE COMPETENCE CENTRE ; 650, ROUTE DES LUCIOLES ; F-06921 SOPHIA-ANTIPOLIS CEDEX ; FRANCE, vol. SA WG5, no. V1.1.0, 14 May 2015 (2015-05-14), pages 1-57, XP050966399, [retrieved on 2015-05-14]
  • "Network Function Virtualization (NFV) Management and Orchestration;GS NFV-MAN 001", ETSI DRAFT; GS NFV-MAN 001, EUROPEAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS STANDARDS INSTITUTE (ETSI), 650, ROUTE DES LUCIOLES ; F-06921 SOPHIA-ANTIPOLIS ; FRANCE, vol. ISG - NFV, no. V0.6.3, 22 September 2014 (2014-09-22), pages 1-197, XP014216374, [retrieved on 2014-09-22]
  • INTEL: "pCR MME overload mitigation by MME VNF procedure", 3GPP DRAFT; S5-152015 PCR MME OVERLOAD MITIGATION PROCEDURE, 3RD GENERATION PARTNERSHIP PROJECT (3GPP), MOBILE COMPETENCE CENTRE ; 650, ROUTE DES LUCIOLES ; F-06921 SOPHIA-ANTIPOLIS CEDEX ; FRANCE , vol. SA WG5, no. Beijing, China; 20150127 - 20150129 20 January 2015 (2015-01-20), XP050964162, Retrieved from the Internet: URL:http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/tsg_sa/WG5_TM/ Ad-hoc_meetings/2015-01-27 NFV/Docs/ [retrieved on 2015-01-20]
  • INTEL: "pCR MME VNF instantiation and termination for mixed network", 3GPP DRAFT; S5-144250 PCR MME VNF, 3RD GENERATION PARTNERSHIP PROJECT (3GPP), MOBILE COMPETENCE CENTRE ; 650, ROUTE DES LUCIOLES ; F-06921 SOPHIA-ANTIPOLIS CEDEX ; FRANCE , vol. SA WG5, no. Sophia Antipolis, France; 20140818 - 20140822 8 August 2014 (2014-08-08), XP050841897, Retrieved from the Internet: URL:http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/tsg_sa/WG5_TM/ TSGS5_96/Docs/ [retrieved on 2014-08-08]
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

Technical Field



[0001] The present disclosure relates to the management of a virtual mobile management entity. In particular, the present disclosure relates to the instantiation and termination of a virtual mobile management entity.

Background



[0002] Mobile management entity (MME) load balancing and re-balancing functions allow user equipment (UE) located in an MME pool to be directed to an appropriate MME in a manner that the connections between the UE and the MME are evenly distributed among the MMEs in the MME pool. Since the number of MMEs in the MME pool is static, an MME can be overloaded as the number of UEs entering the networks keeps rising.

[0003] "3rd Generation Partnership Project; Technical Specification Group Services and System Aspects; Telecommunication management; Study on network management of virtualized networks (Release 13)", 3GPP STANDARD; 3GPP TR 32.842, 3RD GENERATION PARTNERSHIP PROJECT (3GPP), relates to management of virtualized networks. It investigates the relations of management architecture and management functions between virtualized network, non-virtualized networks and mixed networks.

[0004] "Network Function Virtualization (NFV) Management and Orchestration;GS NFV-MAN 001", ETSI DRAFT; GS NFV-MAN 001, EUROPEAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS STANDARDS INSTITUTE (ETSI), relates to management and orchestration framework for the provisioning of virtualized network functions, and the related operations, such as the configuration of the virtualized network functions and the infrastructure these functions run on.

[0005] INTEL, "pCR MME overload mitigation by MME VNF procedure", vol. SA WG5, no. Beijing, China; 20150127 - 20150129, 3GPP DRAFT; S5-152015 PCR MME OVERLOAD MITIGATION PROCEDURE, 3RD GENERATION PARTNERSHIP PROJECT (3GPP), relates to detailed procedure of using a mobile management entity virtual network function to mitigate an overloaded mobile management entity physical network function.

Brief Description of the Drawings



[0006] 

FIG. 1 is a system diagram for virtual mobile management entity management according to one embodiment.

FIG. 2 is a system diagram for virtual mobile management entity management according to one embodiment.

FIG. 3 is a timing diagram for instantiating a virtual mobile management entity according to one embodiment.

FIG. 4 is a timing diagram for terminating a virtual mobile management entity according to one embodiment.

FIG. 5 is a block diagram for a managed element according to one embodiment.

FIG. 6 is a block diagram for a managed function according to one embodiment.

FIG. 7 is a block diagram for an mobile management entity pool according to one embodiment.

FIG. 8 is a block diagram for a device according to one embodiment.


Detailed Description of Preferred Embodiments



[0007] Wireless mobile communication technology uses various standards and protocols to transmit data between a base station and a wireless communication device. Wireless communication system standards and protocols can include, for example, a 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) long term evolution (LTE); the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.16 standard, which is commonly known to industry groups as worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX); and the IEEE 802.11 standard, which is commonly known to industry groups as Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) or Wi-Fi. In an 3GPP radio access networks (RANs) in LTE systems, a base station may include Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network (E-UTRAN) Node Bs (also commonly denoted as evolved Node Bs, enhanced Node Bs, eNodeBs, or eNBs) and/or Radio Network Controllers (RNCs) in the E-UTRAN, which communicate with a wireless communication device, known as user equipment (UE). In LTE networks, the E-UTRAN may include a plurality of eNodeBs and may communicate with the plurality of UEs. LTE networks include a radio access technology (RAT) and core radio network architecture that can provide high data rate, low latency, packet optimization, and improved system capacity and coverage.

[0008] In one embodiment, a virtual mobile management entity (VMME) is instantiated to load balance UEs across a number of mobile management entities (MMEs) in an MME pool. The VMME can also be terminated if the resources offered by the VMME are no longer needed to support the UEs being serviced by the MMEs in the MME pool.

[0009] The instantiation and/or termination of the VMME is coordinated by a network manager (NM). The NM communicates with an element manager (EM), a virtual network function manager (VNFM), a virtual infrastructure manager (VIM), a network function virtualization orchestrator (NFVO), and/or a catalog. The NM, EM, VNFM, VIM, NFVO, and catalog are further described in association with FIGS. 3 and 4.

[0010] Reference is now made to the figures in which like reference numerals refer to like elements. For clarity, the first digit of a reference numeral indicates the figure number in which the corresponding element is first used. In the following description, numerous specific details are provided for a thorough understanding of the embodiments disclosed herein. However, those skilled in the art will recognize that the embodiments described herein can be practiced without one or more of the specific details, or with other methods, components, or materials. Further, in some cases, well-known structures, materials, or operations are not shown or described in detail in order to avoid obscuring aspects of the embodiments. Furthermore, the described features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments.

[0011] FIG. 1 is a system diagram for VMME management according to one embodiment. FIG. 1 includes the MME 102, the VMME 104, a plurality of eNBs, and a plurality of UE. A plurality of eNBs include eNB 106A, eNB 106B, and eNB 106C, which are referred to herein as the eNBs 106. A plurality of UEs include UE 108A, UE 108B, UE 108C, UE 108D, UE 108E, UE 108F, UE 108G, UE 108H, and UE 1081, which are referred to herein as the UEs 108.

[0012] FIG. 1 shows the load balancing of the UEs 108 between the MME 102 and the VMME 104. For example, at a first instance of time 110 the resources provided by the MME 102 can be strained by the services provided to the UEs 108. At a second instance of time 112, some of the UEs 108 (e.g., the UEs 108G, 108H, 1081) that were previously serviced by the MME 102 are serviced by the VMME 104.

[0013] The UEs 108 may include any type of communications and/or computing device. Examples of the UEs 108 include phones, smartphones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), tablet computers, notebook computers, ultrabook computers, and the like. The UEs 108 may include a plurality of applications installed and running on the UEs 108 which may periodically communicate data over the E-UTRAN and/or an evolved packet core (EPC). The UEs 108 may include devices configured to communicate using the 3GPP standard such as a universal mobile telecommunication system (UMTS), LTE, LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), or the like. In some embodiments, the UEs 108 may include a mobile wireless device configured to communicate based on any other wireless communication standard.

[0014] The MME 102 comprises dedicated hardware and computer readable instructions to perform a plurality of operations. For example, the MME 102 can be a signaling node in the EPC. The MME 102 initiates paging and authentication of the UEs 108. The MME 102 retains location information at the tracking area level for each of the UEs 108 and selects the appropriate gateway during the initial registration process. The MME 102 connects to the eNBs 106 through an interface. For example, the MME 102 can connect to the eNBs 106 via an S1 interface, although a number of other interfaces can be used to establish a connection between the MME 102 and the eNBs 106. Multiple MMEs can be grouped together in a pool to meet increasing signaling load in the network. The MME 102 can also be referred to as an MME physical network function (PNF) because the MME PNF comprises dedicated hardware.

[0015] As used herein, hardware can refer to processing resources, memory resources, communication resources, and/or other resources needed to execute computer readable instructions. For example, processing resources can include a plurality of processors to execute computer readable instructions.

[0016] The eNBs 106 are a plurality of base stations that can include multiple antennas (e.g., a sector antenna array) to provide multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) communication channels that increase transmission capacity and quality. The eNBs 106 provide a unicast transmission to the UEs 108 within their cell coverage area. The unicast transmission may be over two or more MIMO layers from the eNBs 106 to the UEs 108.

[0017] At the first instance of time 110, the MME 102 is connected to the eNBs 106A, 106B, 106C. The eNB 106A is connected to the UEs 108A, 108B, 108C. The eNB 106B is connected to the UEs 108D, 108E, 108F. The eNB 106C is connected to the UEs 108G, 108H, 1081. As such, the MME 102 can provide services to the UEs 108A, 108B, 108C, 108D, 108E, 108F, 108G, 108H, 1081.

[0018] The services provided by the MME 102 to the UEs 108 can strain the MME 102. That is, the MME 102 may not be able to effectively provide services to the UEs 108. The MME 102 can effectively provide services to UEs based on key indicators. That is, when the key indicators fall below a baseline, then the MME 102 can be said to be ineffective in providing services to the UEs 108.

[0019] To alleviate the demands on the MME 102. A new MME (not shown) can be placed in an MME pool to which the MME 102 belongs. However, procuring and installing the new MME PNF can have negative effects. For example, the cost associated with procuring the new MME PNF can be limiting. The time associated with installing the new MME PNF can leave UEs 108 without adequate services for the duration of the install.

[0020] Instead of installing the new MME PNF, the VMME 104 can be instantiated to alleviate the demands on the MME 102. The VMME can also be referred to as a mobile management entity virtual network function (MME VNF) to differentiate the VMME from the MME PNF by accentuating that the VMME is implemented in general purpose hardware instead of dedicated hardware. That is, the computer readable instructions comprised in the MME 102 can be implemented in a virtual environment and executed in general purpose hardware to constitute the VMME.

[0021] For example, at the second instance of time 112, the MME 102 is connected to the eNBs 106A, 106B. The VMME 104, is connected to the eNB 106C. That is, a connection between the MME 102 and the eNB 106C can be terminated and a connection between the VMME 104 and the eNB 106C can be established. Accordingly, the UEs 108G, 108H, 1081 can receive services from the VMME 104 instead of the MME 102 at the second instance of time 112. FIG. 3 further describes the instantiation of the VMME 104 and the migration of the UEs 108 to the VMME 104.

[0022] In some examples, the MME 102 and the VMME 104 can be housed in a same location or can be housed in different locations. For example, the MME 102 and the VMME 104 can be directly coupled to each other or the MME 102 and the VMME 104 can communicate with each other via the world wide web.

[0023] FIG. 2 is a system diagram for VMME 204 management according to one embodiment. In FIG. 2, an MME 202, the VMME 204, a plurality of eNBs 206A, 206B, 206C (e.g., referred to generally as the eNBs 206), and a plurality of UEs 208A, 208B, 208C, 208D, 208E, 208F, 208G (e.g., referred to generally as the UEs 208) are analogous to the MME 102, the VMME 104, the eNBs 106A, 106B, 106C, and the UEs 108A, 108B, 108C, 108D, 108E, 108F, 108G in FIG. 1.

[0024] In FIG. 2, the connection between the VMME 204 and the UEs 108H, 1081 in FIG. 1 has been lost. That is, the VMME 204 no longer provides services to the UEs 108H, 1081. As such, the MME 202 is capable of providing services to the UEs 208.

[0025] Rather than providing resources that are not being consumed by maintaining the VMME 204 active status, the VMME 204 can be deactivated. For example, at a first instance of time 214, the VMME 204 provides services to the UE 208G via the eNB 206C. The MME 202 provides services to the UEs 208A, 208B, 208C, 208D, 208E, 208F. It can be determined whether the MME 202 can offer services to the UE 208G without negatively impacting the UEs 208A, 208B, 208C, 208D, 208E, 208F. If the MME 202 can offer services to the UE 208G without negatively impacting the UEs 208A, 208B, 208C, 208D, 208E, 208F, then the MME 202 can be configured to provide services to the UE 208G by migrating the UE 208G to the MME 202 as reflected at a second instance of time 216.

[0026] At the second instance of time 216, the VMME 204 can be terminated when the eNB 206C and the UE 208G have been connected to the MME 202. Terminating the VMME 204 can provide flexibility in load balancing UEs. Terminating the VMME 204 can also conserve resources needed to implement the VMME 204. FIG. 4 further describes the termination of the VMME 204 and the migration of the UEs to the MME 202.

[0027] FIG. 3 is a timing diagram for instantiating a virtual mobile management entity according to one embodiment. FIG. 3 includes an MME VNF 304 that is analogous to the VMME 104 and the VMME 204 in FIGS. 1 and 2, respectively. FIG. 3 also includes an EM 320, an NM 322, a VNFM 324, a VIM 326, an NFVO 328, and a catalog 330. In FIG. 3 the time line of the MME VNF 304 begins at a different location than the other time lines to show an instantiation 350 of the MME VNF 304.

[0028] One or more of the the MME VNF 304, the EM 320, the NM 322, the VNFM 324, the VIM 326, the NFVO 328, and/or the catalog 330 includes at least one computer-readable storage medium having stored thereon computer-readable instructions, when executed, to implement any of the processes disclosed herein.

[0029] The NM 322 comprises hardware and computer readable instructions to manage a mobile communication network that includes the MME and the MME VNF 304. The EM 320 comprises hardware and computer readable instructions to manage the elements in the mobile communication network. The elements managed by the EM 320 include the MME and/or the MME VNF 304. The VNFM 324 and the VIM 326 include hardware and computer readable instructions to manage the use of the virtual resources and to instantiate the MME VNF 304 instance. The NFVO 328 orchestrates the instantiation and the termination of virtual elements, such as the MME VNF 304, by communication with the VNFM 324 and/or the VIM 326. The catalog 330 includes a repository of computer readable instructions that can be used to create the MME VNF 304. The catalog 330 can be a database and/or a different type of computer implemented storage system.

[0030] Instantiating the MME VNF 304 can include on-boarding 332 the VNF package, acknowledging 336 the onboarding of the VNF package, creating 338 a managed object instance, enabling 340 the VNF package. Instantiating the MME VNF 304 can also include executing (e.g., enabling) 342 the VNF package flow, acknowledging 344 the enablement of the VNF package, modifying 346 the attributes of the user defined state to "enabled", requesting 348 MME VNF 304 instantiation, instantiating 350, the MME VNF 304 instance, notifying 352 of the successful MME VNF 304 instantiation, and acknowledging 360, 362 the end of the MME VNF 304 instantiation. Instantiating the MME VNF 304 can also include creating 354 the MME function, modifying an MME pool 356, and providing a notification 358 of the managed object changes.

[0031] On-boarding 332 the VNF package includes the VNF package in the catalog 330. The NM 322 initiates the on-boarding of the VNF package. For example, the NM 322 requests that the NFVO 328 on-board the VNF package. As previously discussed, the NM 322 can include electronic memory and one or more processors configured to access the electronic memory to perform a number of operations such as on-boarding the VNF package. The NFVO 328 can on-board the VNF package by accessing the catalog 330 and adding the VNF package to the catalog 330. In a number of examples, the NFVO 328 can request that the VIM 326 on-board the VNF package to the catalog 330.

[0032] Acknowledging 336 the on-boarding of the VNF package can include providing and/or receiving a notification of a successful on-boarding of the VNF package. For example, the NFVO 328 can provide a notification to the NM 322 that the VNF package was on-boarded. In some embodiments, the EM 320, the NM 322, the VNFM 324, the VIM 326, the NFVO 328, and/or the catalog 330 can be hosted on a same system and/or on different systems. Communication between the EM 320, the NM 322, the VNFM 324, the VIM 326, the NFVO 328, and/or the catalog 330 can occur within a system and/or via a network. The network can be a local network and/or a world wide web.

[0033] Creating 338 the managed object instance includes creating a managed element object from an information object class (IOC) from an application program interface (API) used by the mobile communication system. The managed object instance can be a managed element object. An object refers to a software object. A software object refers to a variable, a data structure, and/or a function. For example, an object can refer to a particular instance of a class such that the object is a combination of variables, functions, and/or data structures. As such, creating the managed object instance includes creating an instance of the managed element class which results in the creation of the managed element object. The managed element object is created using the IOC. The managed element class is further described in FIG. 5.

[0034] The NM 322 requests that the EM 320 create the managed object instance. The request includes a vendor name for the vendorName attribute, a user defined state for the userDefinedState attribute, a software version for the swVersion attribute, a managed element type for the managedElementType attribute, and an image identification (ID) for the vnflmageld attribute. The user defined state is initially set to disabled. For example, the NM 322 can request the creation of the managed object instance and can request a modification of the user defined state to be set to disabled. The image ID uniquely identifies the managed object instance. The managed element type for the managed object instance is an MME. The EM 320 creates the managed object instance.

[0035] Enabling 340 the VNF package includes executing the enabled VNF package flow. The NM 322 requests that the NFVO 328 enable the VNF package. The NM 322 can provide the image ID of the created managed object instance. As such, the NM 322 requests the enablement of the VNF package including the image ID of the managed object instance created.

[0036] The NFVO 328 receives the request to enable the VNF package. The NFVO 328 executes 342 the enabled VNF package flow by accessing the catalog 330 and using the VIM 326.

[0037] The NFVO 328 acknowledges 344 the enablement of the VNF package by notifying the NM 322 of the enablement of the VNF package. The NM 322 receives the acknowledgement of the enablement of the VNF package.

[0038] The NM 322 requests the modification 346 of the attribute user defined state to "enabled" in response to receiving the acknowledgement 344 of the enablement of the VNF package.

[0039] The EM 320 receives the request for the modification 346 of the attribute user defined state. The EM 320 modifies the user defined state of the managed object instance to enabled.

[0040] The NM 322 requests 348 the MME VNF 304 instantiation. The NFVO 328 receives the request 348. The NFVO 328 instantiates 350 the MME VNF 304 instance by requesting that the VIM 326 create and start the virtual resources needed by the MME VNF 304. For example, the NFVO 328 requests the creation of a plurality of virtual machines (VM) used to instantiate the MME VNF 304. The VIM 326 creates and starts the VM resources. The NFVO 328 also requests the creation of the network resources needed for the MME VNF 304. The VIM 326 creates and starts the network resources. The VNFM 324 can assume management of the MME VNF 304 instance.

[0041] The VNFM 324 can notify 352 the EM 320 of the successful MME VNF 304 instantiation in response to the instantiation 350 of the MME VNF 304 instance. The EM 320 can receive the notification 352 of the successful MME VNF 304 instantiation.

[0042] The EM 320 creates 354 an MME function object using the IOC. The MME function is name-contained under the managed object instance (e.g., managed element object). That is, the MME function inherits from the managed object instance (e.g., managed element object). The MME function object represents the MME VNF instance.

[0043] The EM 320 modifies 356 the MME pool to add the MME VNF 304 to the pool. The EM 320 adds the MME VNF 304 to the MME pool by adding a domain name (DN) of the MME VNF 304 instance to the MME pool. The DN can be added to the MME pool by modifying the attributes of the MME pool. The member list attribute of the MME pool can be modified to include the DN of the MME function. The MME pool attribute of the MME function can be modified to include the DN of the MME pool.

[0044] The EM 320 can notify 358, the NM 322 of the managed object changes. The managed object changes can include the adding of the MME VNF 304 to the MME pool and the modification 356 of the member list attribute of the MME pool and the modification of the MME pool attribute of the MME function.

[0045] The VNFM 324 can acknowledge 360 the end of the MME VNF 304 instantiation by notifying the NFVO 328. The VIM 326 can acknowledge 362 the end of the VNF instantiation 350 by notifying the NM 322.

[0046] FIG. 4 is a timing diagram for terminating a virtual mobile management entity according to one embodiment. FIG. 4 includes an MME VNF 404, an EM 420, an NM 422, a VNFM 424, a VIM 426, an NFVO 428, and a catalog 430, which are analogous to the MME VNF 304, the EM 320, the NM 322, the VNFM 324, the VIM 326, the NFVO 328, and the catalog 330 in FIG. 3. In FIG. 4 the time line of the MME VNF 404 terminates at a different location than the other time lines to show a termination 470 of the MME VNF 404.

[0047] The termination 470 of the MME VNF 404 includes a decommission 460 of the MME VNF 404 instance, a modification 464 of the MME pool, and the termination 470 of the MME VNF 404 instance.

[0048] The NM 422 requests 460 the decommission of the MME VNF 404 services. This can occur, for example, when the services of the MME VNF 404 are no longer needed. The EM 420 receives the request 460 to decommission the MME VNF 404 services. The EM 420 can gracefully decommission the MME VNF 404 by migrating the UEs and/or eNBs to other MMEs and/or MME VNFs not being terminated. A graceful decommission includes terminating the MME VNF 404 without affecting the UEs and/or eNBs that were receiving services from the MME VNF 404.

[0049] Once the EM 420 has decommissioned the MME VNF 404, the EM 420 can modify 464 the MME pool to remove the MME VNF 404 from the MME pool. Removing the MME VNF 404 from the MME pool includes deleting the DN of the MME VNF 404 from the MME pool member list attribute of the MME pool.

[0050] The EM 420 acknowledges 466 the service decommission to the NM 422 by providing a notice of the service decommission to the NM 422. The NM 422 requests 468 the termination of the MME VNF 404. The NFVO 428 receives the request 468 and terminates 470 the MME VNF 404 instance and releases the virtual resources used by the MME VNF 404. That is, the NFVO 428 terminate the MME VNF 404 and can work with the VNFM 424 and the VIM 426 to release the VMs used to execute the MME VNF 404 and/or the network resources used to connect the MME VNF 404 to the mobile communication system. The NFVO 428 notifies 472 the NM 422 of the MME VNF 404 instance termination. The NM 422 receives the notification 472 and deletes 474 the MME function object by sending a request to delete the MME function to the EM 420. The EM 420 receives the request to delete 474 the MME function and deletes the MME function.

[0051] FIG. 5 is a block diagram for a managed element according to one embodiment. FIG. 5 shows a SubNetwork class 580, a ManagedElement class 581, an External MMEFunction class 582, an ExternalServingGwFunction class 583, an EPDGFunction class 584, a ServingGwFunction 585, an MMEFunction class 586, a PCRFFunction class 587, and a PGWFunction class 588.

[0052] Each of the shown classes can be implemented to create an associated object. For example, the MMEFunction class 586 can be implemented to create an MME function object. Each of the above classes are included in the IOC (e.g., <<InformationObjectClass>>).

[0053] FIG. 5, shows that the ExternalMMEFunction class 583, the ManagedElement class 581, and the ExternalServingGwFunction class 582 are part of the SubNetwork class 580. The EPDGFunction class 584, the MMEFunction class 586, the PCRFFunction class 587, and the PGWFunction class 588 are part of the ManagedElement class 581.

[0054] The MMEFunction class 586 represents MMEs, the PCRFFunction class 587 represents PCRFs, the ServingGwFunction class 585 represents service gateways, the PGWFunction class 588 represents packet data network (PDN) gateways. When a public land mobile network (PLMN) (e.g., mobile communication network) is created initially, the ManagedElement class 581, the MMEFunction class 586, the PCRFFunction class 587, the ServingGwFunction class 585, and PGWFunction class 588 are created. For example, the above mentioned classes can be created manually.

[0055] The ManagedElement class 581 has the attributes shown in Table 1.
Table 1. Attributes of the ManagedElement class 581
Attribute NameSupport QualifierIs ReadableIs WritableIs InvariantIs Notifiable
vendorName M M     M
userDefinedState M M M   M
swVersion M M     M
managedElementType M M M   M
vnfImageId CM M M   M


[0056] The vendorName attribute represents the name of the vendor creating the MME VNF. The userDefinedState attribute represents the state of the VNF package (e.g., disabled, enabled, deletion pending). The swVersion attribute represents the version of the software. The vnflmageld attribute represents the ID of the VNF image. It is added to support a network function virtualization (NFV) and is applicable to virtualized networks.

[0057] When the MME VNF image is uploaded to the (NFVI) or server in a data center, a managed element object is created and the attributes in Table 1 are initialized to describe the MME VNF image.

[0058] FIG. 6 is a block diagram for a managed function according to one embodiment. FIG. 6 shows a ManagedFunction class 690. FIG. 6 also shows an ExternalMMEFunction class 682, an ExternalServingGwFunction class 683, an EPDGFunction class 684, a ServingGwFunction class 685, an MMEFunction class 686, a PCRFFunction class 687, a PGWFunction class 688, an MMEPoolArea class 691, and an MME Pool class 692, and which depend from the ManagedFunction class 690.

[0059] Table 2 shows the attributes of the ManagedFunction class 690.
Table 2. Attributes of the ManagedFunction class 690
Attribute NameSupport QualifierIs ReadableIs WritableIs InvariantIs Notifiable
vnfInstance Id CM M M   M


[0060] The vnflnstanceld represents the ID of the MME VNF instance. It is added to the ManagedFunction class 690 to support the NFV and is applicable to virtual networks.

[0061] FIG. 7 is a block diagram for the MME pool according to one embodiment. FIG. 7 shows a SubNetwork class 780, an ExternalMMEFunction class 782, an MMEFunction class 786, an MMEPoolArea class 791, and an MMEPool class 792.

[0062] The MMEPoolArea class 791, the MMEPool class 792, the ExternalMMEFunction class 782, and the MMEFunction class 786 are part of the SubNetwork class 780. The MMEPool class 792 represents the MME pool. The MMEPoolArea class 791 represents the MME pool area.

[0063] The MME pool consists of one or more MMEs and/or MME VNFs. A particular MME and/or MME VNF can be a member of one MME pool.

[0064] The MME pool serves at most one MME pool area. One MME poolcan be served by at most one MME pool. Table 3 describes the attributes of the MME pool.
Table 3. Attributes of the MMEPool class 792
Attribute NameSupport QualifierIs ReadableIs WritableIs InvariantIs Notifiable
mMEGI M M     M
Attribute related to role     
mMEPoolMemberList M M M   M
mMEPoolArea M M M   M


[0065] The mMEPoolMemberList attribute represents the list of MMEs and/or MME VNFs that belong to the MME pool. The mMEPoolMemberList is a list of DNs of the MME function representing the MME and/or MME VNF in the MME pool.

[0066] Table 4 describes the attributes of the MMEFunction class 786.
Table 4. Attributes of the MMEFunction class 786
Attribute NameSupport QualifierIs ReadableIs WritableIs InvariantIs Notifiable
pLMNIdList M M     M
mMEC M M     M
Attribute related to role     
mMEPool M M     M


[0067] The mMEPool attribute represents the MME pool to which the MME function belongs. The mMEPool attribute holds a DN of the MME pool to which the MME belongs.

[0068] FIG. 8 is a block diagram for a device 800 according to one embodiment. Embodiments described herein may be implemented into a system using any suitably configured hardware and/or software. In some embodiments, the device 800 may be a UE, eNB, an MME, a VMME, an EM, a NM, a VNF, a VIM, a NFVO, and/or a catalog. The device 800 can include an application circuitry 802, baseband circuitry 804, Radio Frequency (RF) circuitry 806, front-end module (FEM) circuitry 808, and/or one or more antennas 810, coupled together at least as shown in FIG. 8.

[0069] As used herein, the term "circuitry" may refer to, be part of, or include an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), an electronic circuit, a processor (shared, dedicated, or group), and/or memory (shared, dedicated, or group) that execute one or more software or firmware programs, a combinational logic circuit, and/or other suitable hardware components that provide the described functionality. In some embodiments, the circuitry may be implemented in, or functions associated with the circuitry may be implemented by, one or more software or firmware modules. In some embodiments, circuitry may include logic, at least partially operable in hardware.

[0070] The application circuitry 802 may include one or more application processors. By way of non-limiting example, the application circuitry 802 may include one or more single-core or multi-core processors. The processor(s) may include any combination of general-purpose processors and dedicated processors (e.g., graphics processors, application processors, etc.). The processor(s) may be operably coupled and/or include memory/storage, and may be configured to execute instructions stored in the memory/storage to enable various applications and/or operating systems to run on the system.

[0071] By way of non-limiting example, the baseband circuitry 804 may include one or more single-core or multi-core processors. The baseband circuitry 804 may include one or more baseband processors and/or control logic. The baseband circuitry 804 may be configured to process baseband signals received from a receive signal path of the RF circuitry 806. The baseband 804 may also be configured to generate baseband signals for a transmit signal path of the RF circuitry 806. The baseband processing circuitry 804 may interface with the application circuitry 802 for generation and processing of the baseband signals, and for controlling operations of the RF circuitry 806.

[0072] By way of non-limiting example, the baseband circuitry 804 may include at least one of a second generation (2G) baseband processor 804A, a third generation (3G) baseband processor 804B, a fourth generation (4G) baseband processor 804C, other baseband processor(s) 804D for other existing generations, and generations in development or to be developed in the future (e.g., fifth generation (5G), 6G, etc.). The baseband circuitry 804 (e.g.; at least one of baseband processors 804A-804D) may handle various radio control functions that enable communication with one or more radio networks via the RF circuitry 806. By way of non-limiting example, the radio control functions may include signal modulation/demodulation, encoding/decoding, radio frequency shifting, other functions, and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, modulation/demodulation circuitry of the baseband circuitry 804 may be programmed to perform Fast-Fourier Transform (FFT), precoding, constellation mapping/demapping functions, other functions, and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, encoding/decoding circuitry of the baseband circuitry 804 may be programmed to perform convolutions, tail-biting convolutions, turbo, Viterbi, Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) encoder/decoder functions, other functions, and combinations thereof. Embodiments of modulation/demodulation and encoder/decoder functions are not limited to these examples, and may include other suitable functions.

[0073] In some embodiments, the baseband circuitry 804 may include elements of a protocol stack. By way of non-limiting example, elements of an evolved universal terrestrial radio access network (EUTRAN) protocol including, for example, physical (PHY), media access control (MAC), radio link control (RLC), packet data convergence protocol (PDCP), and/or radio resource control (RRC) elements. A central processing unit (CPU) 804E of the baseband circuitry 804 may be programmed to run elements of the protocol stack for signaling of the PHY, MAC, RLC, PDCP and/or RRC layers. In some embodiments, the baseband circuitry 804 may include one or more audio digital signal processor(s) (DSP) 804F. The audio DSP(s) 804F may include elements for compression/decompression and echo cancellation. The audio DSP(s) 804F may also include other suitable processing elements.

[0074] The baseband circuitry 804 may further include memory/storage 804G. The memory/storage 804G may include data and/or instructions for operations performed by the processors of the baseband circuitry 804 stored thereon. In some embodiments, the memory/storage 804G may include any combination of suitable volatile memory and/or non-volatile memory. The memory/storage 804G may also include any combination of various levels of memory/storage including, but not limited to, read-only memory (ROM) having embedded software instructions (e.g., firmware), random access memory (e.g., dynamic random access memory (DRAM)), cache, buffers, etc. In some embodiments, the memory/storage 804G may be shared among the various processors or dedicated to particular processors.

[0075] Components of the baseband circuitry 804 may be suitably combined in a single chip, a single chipset, or disposed on a same circuit board in some embodiments. In some embodiments, some or all of the constituent components of the baseband circuitry 804 and the application circuitry 802 may be implemented together, such as, for example, on a system on a chip (SOC).

[0076] In some embodiments, the baseband circuitry 804 may provide for communication compatible with one or more radio technologies. For example, in some embodiments, the baseband circuitry 804 may support communication with an evolved universal terrestrial radio access network (EUTRAN) and/or other wireless metropolitan area networks (WMAN), a wireless local area network (WLAN), a wireless personal area network (WPAN). Embodiments in which the baseband circuitry 804 is configured to support radio communications of more than one wireless protocol may be referred to as multi-mode baseband circuitry.

[0077] The RF circuitry 806 may enable communication with wireless networks using modulated electromagnetic radiation through a non-solid medium. In various embodiments, the RF circuitry 806 may include switches, filters, amplifiers, etc. to facilitate the communication with the wireless network. The RF circuitry 806 may include a receive signal path which may include circuitry to down-convert RF signals received from the FEM circuitry 808, and provide baseband signals to the baseband circuitry 804. The RF circuitry 806 may also include a transmit signal path which may include circuitry to up-convert baseband signals provided by the baseband circuitry 804, and provide RF output signals to the FEM circuitry 808 for transmission.

[0078] In some embodiments, the RF circuitry 806 may include a receive signal path and a transmit signal path. The receive signal path of the RF circuitry 806 may include mixer circuitry 806A, amplifier circuitry 806B, and filter circuitry 806C. The transmit signal path of the RF circuitry 806 may include filter circuitry 806C and mixer circuitry 806A. The RF circuitry 806 may further include synthesizer circuitry 806D configured to synthesize a frequency for use by the mixer circuitry 806A of the receive signal path and the transmit signal path. In some embodiments, the mixer circuitry 806A of the receive signal path may be configured to down-convert RF signals received from the FEM circuitry 808 based on the synthesized frequency provided by synthesizer circuitry 806D. The amplifier circuitry 806B may be configured to amplify the down-converted signals.

[0079] The filter circuitry 806C may include a low-pass filter (LPF) or band-pass filter (BPF) configured to remove unwanted signals from the down-converted signals to generate output baseband signals. Output baseband signals may be provided to the baseband circuitry 804 for further processing. In some embodiments, the output baseband signals may include zero-frequency baseband signals, although this is not a requirement. In some embodiments, the mixer circuitry 806A of the receive signal path may comprise passive mixers, although the scope of the embodiments is not limited in this respect.

[0080] In some embodiments, the mixer circuitry 806A of the transmit signal path may be configured to up-convert input baseband signals based on the synthesized frequency provided by the synthesizer circuitry 806D to generate RF output signals for the FEM circuitry 808. The baseband signals may be provided by the baseband circuitry 804 and may be filtered by filter circuitry 806C. The filter circuitry 806C may include a low-pass filter (LPF), although the scope of the embodiments is not limited in this respect.

[0081] In some embodiments, the mixer circuitry 806A of the receive signal path and the mixer circuitry 806A of the transmit signal path may include two or more mixers, and may be arranged for quadrature downconversion and/or upconversion, respectively. In some embodiments, the mixer circuitry 806A of the receive signal path and the mixer circuitry 806A of the transmit signal path may include two or more mixers and may be arranged for image rejection (e.g., Hartley image rejection). In some embodiments, the mixer circuitry 806A of the receive signal path and the mixer circuitry 806A may be arranged for direct downconversion and/or direct upconversion, respectively. In some embodiments, the mixer circuitry 806A of the receive signal path and the mixer circuitry 806A of the transmit signal path may be configured for super-heterodyne operation.

[0082] In some embodiments, the output baseband signals and the input baseband signals may be analog baseband signals, although the scope of the embodiments is not limited in this respect. In some alternate embodiments, the output baseband signals and the input baseband signals may be digital baseband signals. In such embodiments, the RF circuitry 806 may include analog-to-digital converter (ADC) and digital-to-analog converter (DAC) circuitry, and the baseband circuitry 804 may include a digital baseband interface to communicate with the RF circuitry 806.

[0083] In some dual-mode embodiments, separate radio IC circuitry may be provided for processing signals for each spectrum, although the scope of the embodiments is not limited in this respect.

[0084] In some embodiments, the synthesizer circuitry 806D may include one or more of a fractional-N synthesizer and a fractional N/N+1 synthesizer, although the scope of the embodiments is not limited in this respect as other types of frequency synthesizers may be suitable. For example, synthesizer circuitry 806D may include a delta-sigma synthesizer, a frequency multiplier, a synthesizer comprising a phase-locked loop with a frequency divider, other synthesizers and combinations thereof.

[0085] The synthesizer circuitry 806D may be configured to synthesize an output frequency for use by the mixer circuitry 806A of the RF circuitry 806 based on a frequency input and a divider control input. In some embodiments, the synthesizer circuitry 806D may be a fractional N/N+1 synthesizer.

[0086] In some embodiments, frequency input may be provided by a voltage controlled oscillator (VCO), although that is not a requirement. Divider control input may be provided by either the baseband circuitry 804 or the applications processor 802 depending on the desired output frequency. In some embodiments, a divider control input (e.g., N) may be determined from a look-up table based on a channel indicated by the applications processor 802.

[0087] The synthesizer circuitry 806D of the RF circuitry 806 may include a divider, a delay-locked loop (DLL), a multiplexer and a phase accumulator. In some embodiments, the divider may include a dual modulus divider (DMD), and the phase accumulator may include a digital phase accumulator (DPA). In some embodiments, the DMD may be configured to divide the input signal by either N or N+1 (e.g., based on a carry out) to provide a fractional division ratio. In some example embodiments, the DLL may include a set of cascaded, tunable, delay elements, a phase detector, a charge pump and a D-type flip-flop. In such embodiments, the delay elements may be configured to break a VCO period up into Nd equal packets of phase, where Nd is the number of delay elements in the delay line. In this way, the DLL may provide negative feedback to help ensure that the total delay through the delay line is one VCO cycle.

[0088] In some embodiments, the synthesizer circuitry 806D may be configured to generate a carrier frequency as the output frequency. In some embodiments, the output frequency may be a multiple of the carrier frequency (e.g., twice the carrier frequency, four times the carrier frequency, etc.) and used in conjunction with a quadrature generator and divider circuitry to generate multiple signals at the carrier frequency with multiple different phases with respect to each other. In some embodiments, the output frequency may be a LO frequency (fLO). In some embodiments, the RF circuitry 806 may include an IQ/polar converter.

[0089] The FEM circuitry 808 may include a receive signal path which may include circuitry configured to operate on RF signals received from one or more antennas 810, amplify the received signals, and provide the amplified versions of the received signals to the RF circuitry 806 for further processing. The FEM circuitry 808 may also include a transmit signal path which may include circuitry configured to amplify signals for transmission provided by the RF circuitry 806 for transmission by at least one of the one or more antennas 810.

[0090] In some embodiments, the FEM circuitry 808 may include a TX/RX switch configured to switch between a transmit mode and a receive mode operation. The FEM circuitry 808 may include a receive signal path and a transmit signal path. The receive signal path of the FEM circuitry 808 may include a low-noise amplifier (LNA) to amplify received RF signals and provide the amplified received RF signals as an output (e.g., to the RF circuitry 806). The transmit signal path of the FEM circuitry 808 may include a power amplifier (PA) configured to amplify input RF signals (e.g., provided by RF circuitry 806), and one or more filters configured to generate RF signals for subsequent transmission (e.g., by one or more of the one or more antennas 810.

[0091] In some embodiments, the device 800 may include additional elements such as, for example, memory/storage, a display, a camera, one of more sensors, an input/output (I/O) interface, other elements, and combinations thereof.

[0092] In some embodiments, the device 800 may be configured to perform one or more processes, techniques, and/or methods as described herein, or portions

[0093] Various techniques, or certain aspects or portions thereof, may take the form of program code (i.e., instructions) embodied in tangible media, such as floppy diskettes, CD-ROMs, hard drives, a non-transitory computer readable storage medium, or any other machine-readable storage medium wherein, when the program code is loaded into and executed by a machine, such as a computer, the machine becomes an apparatus for practicing the various techniques. In the case of program code execution on programmable computers, the computing device may include a processor, a storage medium readable by the processor (including volatile and non-volatile memory and/or storage elements), at least one input device, and at least one output device. The volatile and non-volatile memory and/or storage elements may be a RAM, an EPROM, a flash drive, an optical drive, a magnetic hard drive, or another medium for storing electronic data. The eNB (or other base station) and UE (or other mobile station) may also include a transceiver component, a counter component, a processing component, and/or a clock component or timer component. One or more programs that may implement or utilize the various techniques described herein may use an application programming interface (API), reusable controls, and the like. Such programs may be implemented in a high-level procedural or an object-oriented programming language to communicate with a computer system. However, the program(s) may be implemented in assembly or machine language, if desired. In any case, the language may be a compiled or an interpreted language, and combined with hardware implementations.

[0094] It should be understood that many of the functional units described in this specification may be implemented as one or more components, which is a term used to more particularly emphasize their implementation independence. For example, a component may be implemented as a hardware circuit comprising custom very large scale integration (VLSI) circuits or gate arrays, off-the-shelf semiconductors such as logic chips, transistors, or other discrete components. A component may also be implemented in programmable hardware devices such as field programmable gate arrays, programmable array logic, programmable logic devices, or the like.

[0095] Components may also be implemented in software for execution by various types of processors. An identified component of executable code may, for instance, comprise one or more physical or logical blocks of computer instructions, which may, for instance, be organized as an object, a procedure, or a function. Nevertheless, the executables of an identified component need not be physically located together, but may comprise disparate instructions stored in different locations that, when joined logically together, comprise the component and achieve the stated purpose for the component.

[0096] Indeed, a component of executable code may be a single instruction, or many instructions, and may even be distributed over several different code segments, among different programs, and across several memory devices. Similarly, operational data may be identified and illustrated herein within components, and may be embodied in any suitable form and organized within any suitable type of data structure. The operational data may be collected as a single data set, or may be distributed over different locations including over different storage devices, and may exist, at least partially, merely as electronic signals on a system or network. The components may be passive or active, including agents operable to perform desired functions.

[0097] Reference throughout this specification to "an example" means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the example is included in at least one embodiment. Thus, appearances of the phrase "in an example" in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment.

[0098] As used herein, a plurality of items, structural elements, compositional elements, and/or materials may be presented in a common list for convenience. However, these lists should be construed as though each member of the list is individually identified as a separate and unique member. Thus, no individual member of such list should be construed as a de facto equivalent of any other member of the same list solely based on its presentation in a common group without indications to the contrary. In addition, various embodiments and examples may be referred to herein along with alternatives for the various components thereof. It is understood that such embodiments, examples, and alternatives are not to be construed as de facto equivalents of one another, but are to be considered as separate and autonomous representations of embodiments.
Although the foregoing has been described in some detail for purposes of clarity, it will be apparent that certain changes and modifications may be made without departing from the principles thereof. It should be noted that there are many alternative ways of implementing both the processes and apparatuses described herein. Accordingly, the present embodiments are to be considered illustrative and not restrictive, and the invention is not to be limited to the details given herein, but may be modified within the scope of the appended claims.


Claims

1. An element manager (320; 420), comprising:

electronic memory;

one or more processors configured to access the electronic memory to:

receive, from a network manager, NM (322; 422), a request (338) to create a management object instance;

create the management object instance, wherein the management object instance is created with at least a user defined state attribute, a vendor name attribute, a version attribute, a managed element type attribute, and a virtual network function, VNF, image identification, ID, attribute, wherein the user defined state attribute is initially set to disabled;

receive, from the NM (322; 422), a request (346) for modification of the attribute user defined state;

modify the user defined state attribute to an enabled value in response to receiving the request (346) for modification from the NM (322; 422);

receive, from a virtual network function manager, VNFM (324; 424), a notification (352) of a successful instantiation of a virtual mobile management entity, VMME (204; 304; 404);

create (354) a mobile management entity, MME, function object that represents the management object instance in response to receiving the notification (352);

add the management object instance to a mobile management entity, MME, pool to manage a plurality of user equipment, UE, in a mobile communication system; and

notify the NM (322; 422) of the creation of the management object instance.


 
2. The element manager (320; 420) as in claim 1, further configured to add the management object instance to the MME pool by setting an mMEPoolMemberList attribute of the MME pool object equal to a domain name, DN, of the MMEFunction object.
 
3. The element manager (320; 420) of claim 2, further configured to set the MMEPool attribute of the MMEFunction object equal to the DN of the MMEPool object.
 
4. The element manager (320; 420), EM, of any preceding claim, further comprising one or more processors and configured to:

decommission (462) virtual mobile management entity, VMME (204; 304; 404), services provided by a VMME (204; 304; 404);

remove (464) the VMME (204; 304; 404) from a mobile management entity, MME, pool;

a virtual network function manager, VNFM (324; 424), comprising one or more processors configured to:

terminate (470) the VMME (204; 304; 404); and

release (470) the virtualized resources.


 
5. The element manager (320; 420) of claim 4, wherein the EM (320; 420) is further configured to request a move of a user equipment (108A-I; 208AG), UE, from the VMME (204; 304; 404) to a different MME (102; 202).
 
6. The element manager (320; 420) as in claims 4 or 5, wherein the EM (320; 420) is further configured to remove the VMME (204; 304; 404) from the MME pool by deleting a DN of the VMME (204; 304; 404) from the mMEPoolMemberList attribute of the MME pool.
 
7. The element manager (320; 420) as in claims 4 or 5, wherein the EM (320; 420) is further configured to delete the MMEFunction associated with the VMME (204; 304; 404).
 
8. A system comprising:

the EM (320; 420) as in claims 4 or 5, and

the NM (322; 422) comprising one or more processors and configured to:

request a decommission of the VMME (204; 304; 404) services;

request a removal of the VMME (204; 304; 404) from the MME pool; and

request a termination of the VMME (204; 304; 404).


 


Ansprüche

1. Elementmanager (320, 420), umfassend:

einen elektronischen Speicher;

einen oder mehrere Prozessoren, die konfiguriert sind, um auf den elektronischen Speicher zuzugreifen, um:

von einem Netzwerkmanager (NM) (322, 422) eine Anforderung (338) zum Erstellen einer Verwaltungsobjektinstanz zu empfangen;

die Verwaltungsobjektinstanz zu erstellen, wobei die Verwaltungsobjektinstanz mit mindestens einem benutzerdefinierten Zustandsattribut, einem Herstellernamensattribut, einem Versionsattribut, einem Attribut eines verwalteten Elementtyps und einem Attribut einer virtuellen Netzwerkfunktions (VNF)-Bildkennung (ID) erstellt wird, wobei das benutzerdefinierte Zustandsattribut anfänglich auf deaktiviert gesetzt ist;

von dem NM (322, 422) eine Anforderung (346) zur Änderung des benutzerdefinierten Zustandsattributs zu empfangen;

das benutzerdefinierte Zustandsattribut in einen aktivierten Wert in Reaktion auf den Empfang der Anforderung (346) zur Änderung von dem NM (322, 422) zu ändern;

von einem virtuellen Netzwerkfunktionsmanager (VNFM) (324, 424) eine Benachrichtigung (352) über eine erfolgreiche Instanziierung einer virtuellen mobilen Verwaltungseinheit (Virtual Mobile Management Entity, VMME) (204, 304, 404) zu empfangen;

ein Funktionsobjekt einer mobilen Verwaltungseinheit (Mobile Management Entity, MME) zu erstellen (354), das die Verwaltungsobjektinstanz in Reaktion auf den Empfang der Benachrichtigung (352) darstellt;

die Verwaltungsobjektinstanz zu einem mobilen Verwaltungseinheits (MME)-Pool hinzuzufügen, um eine Vielzahl von Benutzergeräten (User Equipment, UE) in einem mobilen Kommunikationssystem zu verwalten; und

den NM (322, 422) über die Erstellung der Verwaltungsobjektinstanz zu benachrichtigen.


 
2. Elementmanager (320, 420) nach Anspruch 1, der ferner konfiguriert ist, um die Verwaltungsobjektinstanz dem MME-Pool hinzuzufügen, indem ein Attribut "mMEPoolMemberList" des MME-Poolobjekts einem Domänennamen (DN) des Objekts "MMEFunction" gleichgesetzt wird.
 
3. Elementmanager (320, 420) nach Anspruch 2, der ferner konfiguriert ist, um das Attribut "MMEPool" des Objekts "MMEFunction" dem DN des Objekts "MMEPool" gleichzusetzen.
 
4. Elementmanager (EM) (320, 420) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, der ferner einen oder mehrere Prozessoren umfasst und konfiguriert ist, um:

Dienste einer virtuellen mobilen Verwaltungseinheit (VMME) (204, 304, 404), die von einer VMME (204, 304, 404) bereitgestellt werden, abzuschalten (462);

die VMME (204, 304, 404) aus einem Pool einer mobilen Verwaltungseinheit (MME) zu entfernen (464); ein virtueller Netzwerkfunktionsmanager (VNFM) (324, 424), der einen oder mehrere Prozessoren umfasst, die konfiguriert sind, um:

die VMME (204, 304, 404) zu beenden (470); und

die virtualisierten Ressourcen freizugeben (470).


 
5. Elementmanager (320, 420) nach Anspruch 4, wobei der EM (320, 420) ferner konfiguriert ist, um das Verschieben eines Benutzergeräts (UE) (108A-I, 208A-G) von der VMME (204, 304, 404) zu einer anderen MME (102, 202) anzufordern.
 
6. Elementmanager (320, 420) nach Anspruch 4 oder 5, wobei der EM (320, 420) ferner konfiguriert ist, um die VMME (204, 304, 404) aus dem MME-Pool zu entfernen, indem ein DN der VMME (204, 304, 404) aus dem Attribut "mMEPoolMemberList" des MME-Pools gelöscht wird.
 
7. Elementmanager (320, 420) nach Anspruch 4 oder 5, wobei das EM (320, 420) ferner konfiguriert ist, um die der VMME (204, 304, 404) zugeordnete Funktion "MMEFunction" zu löschen.
 
8. System, umfassend:

der EM (320, 420) nach Anspruch 4 oder 5, und

der NM (322, 422), der einen oder mehrere Prozessoren umfasst und konfiguriert ist, um:

eine Abschaltung der Dienste der VMME (204, 304, 404) anzufordern;

ein Entfernen der VMME (204, 304, 404) aus dem MME-Pool anzufordern; und

eine Beendigung der VMME (204, 304, 404) anzufordern.


 


Revendications

1. Gestionnaire d'éléments (320 ; 420), comprenant :

une mémoire électronique ;

un ou plusieurs processeurs configuré(s) pour accéder à la mémoire électronique pour :

recevoir, d'un gestionnaire de réseau, NM (322 ; 422), une demande (338) de création d'une instance d'objet de gestion ;

créer l'instance d'objet de gestion, dans lequel l'instance d'objet de gestion est créée avec au moins un attribut d'état défini par un utilisateur, un attribut de nom de fournisseur, un attribut de version, un attribut de type d'élément géré et un attribut d'identification d'image, ID, d'une fonction de réseau virtuel, VNF, dans lequel l'attribut d'état défini par l'utilisateur est initialement réglé pour être désactivé ;

recevoir, du NM (322 ; 422), une demande (346) de modification de l'attribut d'état défini par l'utilisateur ;

modifier l'attribut d'état défini par l'utilisateur en une valeur activée en réponse à la réception de la demande (346) de modification du NM (322 ; 422) ;

recevoir, d'un gestionnaire de fonction de réseau virtuel, VNFM (324 ; 424), une notification (352) d'une instanciation réussie d'une entité de gestion mobile virtuelle, VMME (204 ; 304 ; 404) ;

créer (354) un objet de fonction d'une entité de gestion mobile, MME, qui représente l'instance d'objet de gestion en réponse à la réception de la notification (352) ;

ajouter l'instance d'objet de gestion à un groupement d'entités de gestion mobile, MME, pour gérer une pluralité d'équipements utilisateur, UE, dans un système de communication mobile ; et

notifier le NM (322 ; 422) de la création de l'instance d'objet de gestion.


 
2. Gestionnaire d'éléments (320 ; 420) selon la revendication 1, configuré en outre pour ajouter l'instance d'objet de gestion au groupement de MME en réglant un attribut mMEPoolMemberList de l'objet de groupement de MME pour être égal à un nom de domaine, DN, de l'objet MMEFunction.
 
3. Gestionnaire d'éléments (320 ; 420) selon la revendication 2, configuré en outre pour régler l'attribut MMEPool de l'objet MMEFunction pour être égal au DN de l'objet MMEPool.
 
4. Gestionnaire d'éléments (320 ; 420), EM, selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre un ou plusieurs processeur(s) et configuré pour :

désaffecter (462) des services d'entité de gestion mobile virtuelle, VMME (204 ; 304 ; 404), fournis par une VMME (204 ; 304 ; 404) ;

retirer (464) la VMME (204 ; 304 ; 404) d'un groupement d'entités de gestion mobile, MME ;

un gestionnaire de fonction de réseau virtuel, VNFM (324 ; 424), comprenant un ou plusieurs processeur(s) configuré(s) pour :

mettre fin (470) à la VMME (204 ; 304 ; 404) ; et

libérer (470) les ressources virtualisées.


 
5. Gestionnaire d'éléments (320 ; 420) selon la revendication 4, dans lequel l'EM (320 ; 420) est en outre configuré pour demander un transfert d'un équipement utilisateur (108A-I ; 208AG), UE, de la VMME (204 ; 304 ; 404) à une MME différente (102 ; 202).
 
6. Gestionnaire d'éléments (320 ; 420) selon la revendication 4 ou 5, dans lequel l'EM (320 ; 420) est en outre configuré pour retirer la VMME (204 ; 304 ; 404) du groupement de MME en supprimant un DN de la VMME (204 ; 304 ; 404) de l'attribut mMEPoolMemberList du groupement de MME.
 
7. Gestionnaire d'éléments (320 ; 420) selon la revendication 4 ou 5, dans lequel l'EM (320 ; 420) est en outre configuré pour supprimer la fonction MMEFunction associée à la VMME (204 ; 304 ; 404).
 
8. Système, comprenant :

l'EM (320 ; 420) selon la revendication 4 ou 5, et

le NM (322 ; 422) comprenant un ou plusieurs processeur(s) et configuré pour :

demander une désaffectation des services de VMME (204 ; 304 ; 404) ;

demander un retrait de la VMME (204 ; 304 ; 404) du groupement de MME ; et

demander un arrêt de la VMME (204 ; 304 ; 404).


 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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Non-patent literature cited in the description