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ExoGENI. www.exogeni.net. ExoGENI : What is it?. A collection of ‘racks’ being installed on campuses across US and the world Core of ExoGENI is built on IBM hardware Also support Dell and Cisco UCS-B Runs ORCA control softaware Federates with other GENI resources

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Exogeni what is it
ExoGENI: What is it?

  • A collection of ‘racks’ being installed on campuses across US and the world

    • Core of ExoGENI is built on IBM hardware

    • Also support Dell and Cisco UCS-B

  • Runs ORCA control softaware

  • Federates with other GENI resources

    • Supports common identity mechanisms, APIs and resource descriptions

Exogeni at a glance
ExoGENI at a glance

Exogeni why different
ExoGENI: why different?

  • Designed to bridge distributed experimentation and computational science

    • Supports sliverable storage for ‘Big(gish) Data’

    • Supports easy native ‘stitching’ of resources across racks

  • Optimized for different design choices

    • ExoGENI does not support lightweight containers

    • Only VMs with tightly accounted cores and baremetal nodes for strong performance isolation

      • This means even VM slivers are limited. ExoGENI does not oversubscribe CPU cores!

  • Makes few(er) assumptions about experiment behavior or purpose. For example:

    • IP forwarding is not on by default

    • No IP address is assigned to dataplane if the RSpec doesn’t assign it

Exogeni how different
ExoGENI: How Different?

  • Based on a different technology stack

    • Off-the shelf cloud solutions with lightweight orchestration on top

    • OpenStack for VMs

    • xCAT for baremetal nodes

    • ORCA (Open Resource Control Architecture) federation software written by Duke University and RENCI/UNC Chapel Hill

  • Provides additional features over native APIs using native tools

    • Over time some features migrate back to GENI

  • Important! Can be thought of as both a

    • Collection of separate racks (each rack has GENI AM API point)

    • Singe aggregate capable of complex topology embedding (So-called ‘ExoSM’ provides orchestration across racks)

The important thing is your experiment. Decide on what types of resources you need and what features you expect. Decide on the tools, decide on the resources.

Exogeni orca control framework
ExoGENI: ORCA Control Framework

  • ORCA provides orchestration and GENI federation

    • Exposes GENI AM API and allows the use of RSpec. Allows the use of GENI tools

    • Exposes a native API and the use of native resource description mechanisms. Allows the use of ExoGENI-specific tools.

  • ORCA provides stitching across ExoGENI aggregates

    • Between ExoGENI racks

    • Includes ‘stitching’ to campus resources, where appropriate

  • Provides topology embedding support

    • Slices can be ‘bound’ to particular racks or ‘unbound’, leaving it up to ExoSM to decide where to allocate resources

    • Experimenter can ‘talk’ to individual racks to get resources or get ExoSM to select the rack

      • ExoSM can even automatically split some slices between racks

Details hardware
Details: Hardware

* Listed are the specs for ExoGENI IBM-based racks.

** Actual number of available cores varies.

*** Racks deployed at OSF and StarLight will have 40Gbps option

Specific notable behaviors
Specific Notable Behaviors

  • Resource allocation

    • ExoSM can allocate slices across multiple racks at once and can stitch them together using NLR, I2 and ESnet

  • Images

    • Bare-metal – just a few available for now

    • VMs – BYOM (Bring Your Own Image)

      • ExoGENI does not host images

      • Image can be created by experimenter consistent with making an OpenStack or Eucalyptus image

      • ExoGENI will download any image from any URL

      • Images can (to some extent) mix and match kernels, ramdisks and filesystems

Exogeni vm image descriptor format
ExoGENI VM Image Descriptor Format


















More on exogeni vm images
More on ExoGENI VM Images

  • Images are specified by tuple <url of metafile, SHA1 hash>

  • ‘Vetted’ images are listed with image registry service

    • http://geni.renci.org:12080/registry/images.jsp

    • Examples: Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, OVS, OpenDaylight, Hadoop, Condor etc

    • Image marked ‘default’ used on slices that don’t specify an image

  • Images are built in a ‘PlayPen’ environment

    • Stand-alone OpenStack environment suitable for debugging boot problems

  • Snapshotting not currently supported

Specific notable behaviors continued
Specific Notable Behaviors (continued)

  • Boot scripts

    • <install> and <execute> services are supported

    • There is additional type <pbs:services_post_boot_script type="velocity">

      • Embedded directly into the RSpec, not loaded separately like <install> script

      • Passed through a template engine that does

        • Variable substitutions for common slice parameters: node names, slice names, IP, MAC addresses of interfaces etc.

        • Has a Turing-complete language for automatic code generation (if/then, for loops, variables)

Example post boot scrip template
Example Post-Boot scrip template


echo $NodeGroup0.get(0).IP("Link0") master >> /etc/hosts

#set ( $size = $NodeGroup0.size() - 1 )

#foreach ( $i in [1..$size] )

echo $NodeGroup0.get($i).IP("Link0") `echo $NodeGroup0.get($i).Name() | sed 's/\//-/g'` >> /etc/hosts



if [ "$name" = "NodeGroup0/0" ];


echo master > /etc/hostname


echo $self.Name() | sed 's/\//-/g' > /etc/hostname


/bin/hostname -F /etc/hostname

Post boot script executed by a node
Post-boot script executed by a node


echo master >> /etc/hosts

echo `echo NodeGroup0/0 | sed 's/\//-/g'` >> /etc/hosts

echo `echo NodeGroup0/1 | sed 's/\//-/g'` >> /etc/hosts

echo `echo NodeGroup0/2 | sed 's/\//-/g'` >> /etc/hosts

echo `echo NodeGroup0/3 | sed 's/\//-/g'` >> /etc/hosts


if [ "$name" = "NodeGroup0/0" ];


echo master > /etc/hostname


echo NodeGroup0/0 | sed 's/\//-/g' > /etc/hostname


/bin/hostname -F /etc/hostname

Specific notable differences continued
Specific notable differences continued

  • ExoGENI specific-tool: Flukes

    • Graphical Java tool (cross-platform)

    • Supports GENI credentials

    • Speaks to ORCA native API using orca native resource description mechanisms

  • Some features are available only through Flukes

    • Elastic splittable node groups (dynamically resizable clusters automatically allocated across multiple racks)

    • Campus stitching – ability to connect slice to campus resources using available Layer 2 connectivity

    • Storage slivering – ability to allocate slivers of storage and stitch them into your slice

Thank you
Thank You

  • More information:

    • http://wiki.exogeni.net

    • ExoBlog: http://www.exogeni.net

  • Questions from experimenters:

    • Google group: geni-orca-users