Network Enabled Testbeds

Eamonn Power 
Senior Systems Administrator...

Eamonn Power - TSSG - Network enabled testbeds.pdf

Testbeds require bigger user communities to become sustainable due to their specialised nature. Exposing the resources of different classes of test facilities has long been a component of European research. These programmes and resources are utilised to showcase technologies being developed by some of the leading research groups at HEAnet clients such as TSSG and CTVR.

TSSG, in partnership with HEAnet, deployed a Multi-Domain Virtual Private Network (MDVPN) as part of the EU XiFi project. MDVPN is a GEANT service that enables to creation of large-scale multi-site meshed VPNs, in this case 16 sites were involved. The VPN established connected each of the nodes, or datacenters, to each other in a mesh, enabling the federation of resources within each node to be used by all the members of the federation, whilst achieving reliable performance. This resulted in a EU wide testbed being created that provided distributed cloud infrastructures for SMEs (the XiFi end-users) to leverage.

HEAnet have also enabled TSSG to build out a national Software Defined Network (SDN) testbed by providing 10GE wavelengths on its fibre network via the FII project. TSSG in conjunction with HEAnet, CIT, and CTVR have deployed network nodes around the country on this network providing a private research network at a national level. This network can be used to research and create disruptive technologies, particularly in SDN and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV).

Additionally, by combining resources and research objectives with HEAnet, through the XiFi and FII projects, and CTVR and CIT, through the CONNECT Centre, much larger research testbeds can be deployed with greater sharing of knowledge and domain expertise and thus leveraged by the research community at large.

Another research group which uses European based testbeds is the CTVR group in TCD. Within the DISCUS European project (The DIStributed Core for unlimited bandwidth supply for all Users and Services) they have put together a testbed to demonstrate next-generation Fibre-to-the-home architectures and the advantages of using SDN and OpenFlow to control such architectures. HEAnet has enabled CTVR to interact with the GEANT OpenFlow testbed, giving them dedicated connectivity in order to eliminate any fluctuation in the experimental data due to the non-deterministic behaviour of the public Internet.

With HEAnet’s support, TCD was able to demonstrate for the first time ultra-fast Long-Reach Passive Optical Network protection on an End-to-End scenario, including both access and core networks in their demonstration. TCD is now interested in trialling the new GEANT GTS Test Bed as a Service in 2015.

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