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  1. The high reliability required by many future-generation network services can be enforced by proper resource assignments by means of logical partitions, i.e.,┬ánetwork slices, applied in optical metro-aggregation networks. Different strategies can be applied to deploy the virtual network functions (VNFs) composing the slices over physical nodes, while providing different levels of resource isolation (among slices) and protection against failures, based on several available techniques. Considering that, in optical metro-aggregation networks, protection can be ensured at different layers, and the slice protection with traffic grooming calls for evolved multilayer protection approaches. In this paper, we investigate the problem of reliable slicing with protection at the lightpath layer for different levels of slice isolation and different VNF deployment strategies. We model the problem through an integer linear program (ILP), and we devise a heuristic for joint optimization of VNF placement and ligthpath selection. The heuristic maps nodes and links over the physical network in a coordinated manner and provides an effective placement of radio access network functions and the routing and wavelength assignment for the optical layer. The effectiveness of the proposed heuristic is validated by comparison with the optimal solution provided by the ILP. Our illustrative numerical results compare the impactmore »of different levels of isolation, showing that higher levels of network and VNF isolation are characterized by higher costs in terms of optical and computation resources.

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