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Internet-Scale Overlay Hosting Spiral 2 Year-end Project Review. Washington University PI: Jon Turner (5%) and Patrick Crowley (5%) Staff : John DeHart (45%), Ken Wong (15%), Dave Zar (12%), Jyoti Parwatikar (0%) Students : Mike Wilson (0%), Mart Haitjema (0%) 8/30/2010.

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internet scale overlay hosting spiral 2 year end project review

Internet-Scale Overlay HostingSpiral 2 Year-end Project Review

Washington University

PI: Jon Turner (5%) and Patrick Crowley (5%)

Staff: John DeHart (45%), Ken Wong (15%), Dave Zar (12%), JyotiParwatikar (0%)Students: Mike Wilson (0%), Mart Haitjema (0%)


project summary
Project Summary
  • Deploy five experimental overlay hosting platforms
    • located at Internet 2 PoPs
    • compatible with PlanetLab, moving to GENI control framework
    • performance characteristics suitable for service deployment
      • integrated system architecture with multiple server blades
      • shared NP-based server blades for fast-path packet processing
  • Demonstrate multiple applications
  • Provide ongoing operational support for deployed systems
  • Support development of a user community and provide ongoing support for user experiments
    • including development of new fastpath code options in partnership with users


accomplishments 1 advancing geni spiral 2 goals
Accomplishments 1: Advancing GENI Spiral 2 Goals
  • Support for continuous experimentation
    • deep programmability of SPPs for both the control and data planes of experimental nets
    • support for slicing – includes slicing of NP resources for high performance data planes
    • demonstrations to highlight SPP capabilities and refine our understanding of how they can best be used
    • user tutorials seek to build a user community and foster feedback that can guide future development
  • Support for measurement
    • SPPs provide support for real-time monitoring of running applications, revealing what happens ”under the covers” – essential for debugging and effective demonstrations
    • support researcher-driven data collection
  • Support for interoperability
    • broadly interoperable at the data plane – can support experiments that span PlanetLab, Vini, Emulab, ProtoGENI, Amazon EC2 and generally any internet-based device
    • construction of applications that span multiple testbeds does require interacting with multiple control mechanism – added time and effort is small fraction of that needed to construct application


accomplishments 2 other project accomplishments
Accomplishments 2:Other Project Accomplishments
  • Demonstrating potential for Internet-scale overlay hosting
    • while prototype is quite small, it is architected for scalability
    • multiple components communicating through a high performance switching layer
    • generic data plane interface which is broadly interoperable and hides internal details
    • unified control interface, which hides internal structure from applications and external control elements
    • support for effective traffic isolation and advance resource reservation
  • Such scalability is essential to a future “Version 1” of GENI
    • objectives include support for >100K real users running advanced applications over networks supported by GENI infrastructure
    • will need backbone nodes with IO bandwidths of at least 50-100 Gb/s and 50-100 processing components
    • will need better support for scalable overlay routers that use many processing components at each site


  • Plans for the remainder of Spiral 2
    • improve operational stability of SPPs
    • prepare demonstrations and tutorial for GEC9
    • deploy remaining nodes in Atlanta and Houston
  • Plans for last year of project
    • support ongoing operation of SPP nodes
    • continue to build user community through demos and tutorials at GECs 9, 10 and 11
    • continue to add material to the SPP wiki pages
    • work with users on new NPE code options
    • complete development of flow monitoring subsystem to prevent abuse of SPPs
    • complete and deploy version 2 of the NPE fastpath software – support for 10 Gb/s operation and multicast packet forwarding
  • Things we still hope to accomplish
    • multi-node resource reservation
    • integration of testbed control with GENI control framework
    • transfer operational control to GMOC
    • develop control software to support NetFPGAs


issues concerns
  • Internet 2 pullback of support for the backbone
    • undermines our core objective of demonstrating internet-scale overlays
    • and raises doubts about the credibility of the whole GENI enterprise
  • Lack of engagement of GPO on a technical level
    • have yet to have a GPO staff member ask a technical question about the SPPs that reflects an informed understanding
    • no GPO staff member has attended an SPP tutorial, asked for an account or tried to use the SPPs for a simple experiment
  • Uncertainty over future of GENI
    • hard to avoid feeling that we’re just going through motions until the funding runs out
    • does GENI have a real future? should it?
  • What is being done to attract application developers to GENI?
    • internet-scale activities require real users, not just networking researchers
    • users are attracted by applications, not networking technicalities
    • need more emphasis on network services that enable new apps, not just low level performance refinements