GigaPort3[0] is a 5 year project lead by SURFnet, funded out of the ‘Fonds Economische Structuurversterking` (FES) round 2009 in the knowledge domain ‘Large Infrastructures’. GigaPort3’s ambition is to create advanced networking and middleware services, which provide the best possible support for Research and Education. Both the underlying technology and the connected applications are constantly evolving, leading to new demands on the network. The GigaPort3 project prepares to meet these demands even as they evolve. GigaPort3 will not only continue to provide the research and education community in The Netherlands with a state of the art research network. It will also facilitate the integration with other elements of the ICT infrastructure for research, providing the framework for e-Research.

The SNE Group is active in the ‘NetherLight[1] and global connectivity’ (INT) work package. In 2012 we will be working on the following topics:

  • Topology description Framework;
  • Multi-layer open exchanges;
  • Network services in workflows for data intensive applications.

Topology Description Framework
During 2011 it became apparent that labels (VLAN, wavelength, slots) are an important component on how to get to endpoints in the network. This realization has an impact on how to deal with topologies, that is, how are topologies expressed, exchanged and how to find paths through network topologies once we have to use both an endpoint and a label as start and end of a network path.

In 2012 we will focus on the support of full topology exchange, and extend the ontologies and algorithms to cope with the new definition of an endpoint, i.e. the combination of an interface and label. We continue our active participation to the NML[2] and NSI[3] Working groups in OGF[4] where the NML group develops the models that support the full topology exchanges.

To support this we create new tools and libraries that facilitate handling and use of OWL-based descriptions, including the new definition of an endpoint (interface and label). We will also develop the tools to update topology description files using information extracted from monitoring tools and provisioning tools operating on the network.

Multi-layer open exchanges
Open exchanges need to support multiple technologies. They need to interface to VLANs, OpenFlow based infrastructures, Cross Border Dark Fiber and similar technologies. Given the rate of change in technology, at any time an exchange will have to support several interface types and the operating models need to be flexible to accommodate this.

The idea is to show how to ‘play with colors’, i.e. to be able to dynamically associate application services with Layer2 VLANs and/or dynamical tunable colors, which are switched using a WSS. A client would then be able to tune into a service on the fiber as if it was a radio channel. In 2012 we want to build an experimentation setup with Ciena[5] in the lab at the UvA. This setup will then serve as a prototype multi layer exchange/endpoint for experimentation with the tools to be developed in topic 1 and 3.

TUE in cooperation with SURFnet has developed a WSS with a control system to be integrated with DAS4[6]. The prototype is now almost ready and needs to be installed in Amsterdam and connected to the network of DAS4. We want to integrate these new devices in the control plane environment of DAS to make the services available to pilot applications (CineGrid or eVLBI).

Network services in workflows for data intensive applications
In the CineGrid[7] project, we have studied the problem of including the network level quality control in available workflow systems, and developed an agent-based architecture called Network in Workflow QoS Planner (NeWQoSPlanner[8]).

As the next step, we propose to manage the network level operations, such as provisioning and establishing links, for the high-level workflow system via a proper invocation interface, such as a service or a compatible description of high level workflow. This would nicely complement the work on adoption of NSI in SURFnet. The use case will be selected from the CineGrid context or GreenNets.

Project website(s)
[0] Gigaport3
[1] NetherLight
[2] Network Markup Language Working Group
[3] Network Service Interface Working Group
[4] Grid Forum
[5] Ciena
[6] DAS4
[7] Project CineGrid
[8] Project NeWQoSPlanner

People involved
Cees de Laat
Ralph Koning
Zhiming Zhao
Jeroen van der Ham
Arie Taal

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