AutoBAHN. A bandwidth on demand service for GÉANT.

The GÉANT Automated Bandwidth Allocation across Heterogeneous Networks (AutoBAHN) system is a user-friendly tool for instantiating dynamic circuits over the global research and education (R&E) network infrastructures. The system has been developed as a pilot within the GN2 project and is a central unit to the next-generation GÉANT network. At the present AutoBAHN system is being developed and maintained under the GN3 project SA2.T5.

Networking resources are allocated, end-to-end, across multiple domains, creating a complex problem of coordination and dynamic re-configuration of resources within a number of administrative domains. The granularity of resource reservations in terms of bandwidth and duration is important, together with the required QoS parameters.

Because not all National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) deploy the same type of technologies, there are different ways of providing BoD services. AutoBAHN is being designed to support:

  • Extended Layer 2 Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs) based on gigabit-Ethernet (GE) connections.
  • Point-to-point switched Layer 1 connections  STM-1 to optical wavelengths, 1GE, 10GE).

Typically, an end-point in a NREN A needs to make a connection to an end-point in NREN B. To provide guaranteed end-to-end service with resource reservation, service requests must be co-ordinated across domains. This role is undertaken by instances of the AutoBAHN system deployed in each involved domain. The AutoBAHN system will not act as a replacement for existing control plane, signalling and provisioning capabilities. Instead it provides an integrated business layer for co-ordinated inter-domain provisioning, complementing existing control plane capabilities (where they exist) with AAI, inter-domain routing functionality,inter-domain monitoring, and so on.

AutoBAHN, acting as the intermediary between users (or applications) and the network, interprets user requests and translates them to requests to the network. The network itself must specify to the middleware what services are available and their corresponding quality parameters. Each network domain defines policies for use of networking resources as well as quality parameters and is able to express them through AutoBAHN. Users authenticated by identity and role may receive authorisation against the respective policies. The originality of AutoBAHN lies in ensuring that new network services are introduced to meet the requirements of next generation network users, overcoming the borders of physically and technically disjointed networks.

The emergence of GRID applications and peer-to-peer computing imposes new requirements on network services. The benefits of BoD services are most obvious where advanced requirements for network connectivity exist, especially when multiple domains are involved, capacity reservation needs to be supported in advance and circuits must be realised and released in a dynamic manner.

AutoBAHN has been deployed in the NRENs depicted in the following figure:

i2CAT is present in GÉANT project and participates in this task. The main role of i2CAT is to design improvements to AutoBAHN software as well as identify the current limitations to provide enhancements to them.

For further details please see the following web site:

 This post was written by Steluta Gheorghiu

About Joan A. García-Espín

M.Sc. Joan A. García-Espín ( is the Director of the Distributed Applications and Networks Area (DANA) of the i2CAT Foundation. He received his Telecommunication Engineering degree from the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) in 2007. He wrote his Master Thesis in design and implementation of TE-enabled, DiffServ-aware MPLS networks for providing end-to-end QoS, also in 2007. He is a PhD candidate in the Telematics Engineering Department of the UPC. He is currently working in European projects FP7 GEYSERS (WP3 Leader) and GÉANT3. He has also participated in various European projects such as FP6 PHOSPHORUS and FP7 FEDERICA, and national (Spanish) projects including Enigma, Enigma Enhanced (Enigma II) and E3MS. He owns experience in optical networking, dynamic switching and management systems for networks, QoS and DiffServ for MPLS networks and infrastructure virtualisation. He is an active contributor to the NSI-wg and ISOD-rg gropus in the Open Grid Forum. His main research interests are cooperative agent interaction for network service provisioning, infrastructure virtualisation and network resource sharing and allocation.
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