GÉANT3 Network Factory testbed will use the OFELIA Control Framework

GÉANT3 project recently started a new task aimed to build a testbed for a Network Factory service. This service will deliver a network environment where experiments can be conducted without affecting standard GÉANT services, albeit utilizing GÉANT backbone resources. The service will offer slices on top of the GÉANT production environment giving full control of the resources to the researchers. A slice is composed of sliced/virtualized network links and network resources as well as computing resources. Computer resources are offered as Virtual Machines (VM) through XEN hypervisor and the network resources are software-based OpenFlow switches.

GÉANT3 has chosen the OFELIA Control Framework (OCF) as the framework to be used to control the Network Factory tested. It will deliver seamless slice request submission, instantiation, management and decommissioning functionalities to end users so that their core experimental work is not disrupted in any stage of the Network Factory service delivery and the GÉANT production environment remains unaffected.

As you may remember from a previous post, The OFELIA Control Framework is the control plane application for OFELIA FP7 facility. The main objective of this framework is to automate, allocate, simplify and authorize users to create projects and slices composed of OpenFlow resources and virtual machines.

I2CAT contribution to this task is focused on providing the expertise on the deployment of OpenFlow testbeds obtained from our participation in OFELIA FP7 project and co-coordination of EU-Brazil FIBRE project and in providing support on the deployment/installation of the OFELIA Control Framework (OCF), as i2CAT is leading the implementation of the OCF. I2CAT will also provide support on the implementation of OCF and its extensions required to fit on the GÉANT environment.

Coming back to the deployment details, the Network Factory testbed will be deployed by installing two (2) general purpose servers on each of the five (5) GÉANT PoPs (Bratislava, Ljubljana, Vienna, Zagreb, Budapest) that will be used for the GÉANT Network Factory testbed. The role of the servers is:

  1. Host software-based OpenFlow switch called Open vSwitch that will run on top of a native Linux Debian distribution. OpenvSwitch main parts include a Linux kernel module running as a loadable module on the Linux kernel and a user-space daemon that will be responsible for configuring the Linux kernel module.
  2. Deploy a XEN hypervisor that will instantiate multiple VMs allocated to user “slices”.

Additionally, one of the PoPs will deploy the OCF, the FlowVisor software and the OpenFlow controller, which will provide the Network Factory services. The GÉANT Network Factory (excluding GÉANT Network infrastructure) is depicted in Figure below.

A generic view of the proposed Network Factory OpenFlow Testbed

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