Experimenting with Virtual SDXs using Chameleon and ExoGENI


Paul Ruth, Senior Distributed Systems Researcher at RENCI


The Chameleon and ExoGENI testbeds both represent experimental instruments for Computer Science operating on roughly the same principles: users are allowed deeply reconfigurable access and given environments that are isolated in ways relevant to the experiments each platform supports. However, while their objectives are similar, the two testbeds emphasize different types of research and evolved different capabilities to support them. Chameleon allows users to scale Big Compute and Big Data experiments to large amounts of compute and storage in different configurations using heterogeneous hardware, but is limited to only two sites. The ExoGENI federation is built to support advanced networking and distributed computing experiments that require geographic scale but can be limited by per site scale of the compute and storage.  Chameleon’s recent layer 2 network stitching extensions and upcoming Software Defined Networking (SDN) capabilities enable users to deploy complex SDN experiments that span multiple testbeds (i.e. ExoGENI) and campus domains.

This talk will present the stitching and SDN extensions to Chameleon and motivate their use for providing virtualized services between and within research testbeds.  Specifically, the talk will describe an experiment using a Virtual Software Defined Exchange (vSDX) jointly developed by Duke University, RENCI, and the U.S. Energy Sciences Network (ESnet).  The experiment focuses on using SDN (OpenFlow) along with the Secure Authorization for Federated Environments (SAFE), developed at Duke, to declare and enforce trust policy between automated network services providers. The experiment is deployed as an ExoGENI slice providing vSDX network services to other ExoGENI slices, Chameleon tenants, and local campus resources.  The talk will describe the SAFE vSDX experiment but focus on how it spans testbed borders.