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Managing diversity on federated test beds

Many federated test beds for internet experimentation have been deployed worldwide. These allow the developers of future internet technologies – ranging from components to complete systems – to conduct large-scale and diverse experiments. The OpenLab project is providing a framework for managing these diverse test bed systems.

The proliferation of test bed management frameworks, and in particular of measurement and monitoring tools, poses a great challenge for experimenters, who may have to adapt their test applications to each test bed.

The OpenLab solution, being developed by a number of projects, will cope with divergent requirements for managing experiments. It will do so by:

  • evaluating WebRTC service delivery mechanisms, namely the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and Web service delivery approaches (the WONDER project)
  • designing, implementing and evaluating an innovative, resilient software-defined networking (SDN) system able to withstand attacks, failures, mistakes, natural disasters and able to keep operating on fragmented and intermittently connected networks (the EXPRESS project)
  • developing and evaluating a new tool for test bed management for peer-to-peer (P2P) applications (OpenLab- Eclectic)
  • evaluating a path state protocol (PSP) application running on top of the open and programmable environment for experiments with routers (the OPENER project), with the aim of securing the border gateway protocol (PSP-SEC).

WONDER focuses on the interoperability of IMS and WebRTC services with each other and with standard IMS clients. The experiments aim to clarify which approach is most suitable and under what conditions.

The experiments require a flexible, well equipped test infrastructure able to connect to additional network and service capabilities, including assets provided by telecoms operators, as well as WebRTC related network capabilities like STUN/TURN servers.

With the platforms available at the University of Patras and the Waterford Institute of Technology, WONDER can test functionality on different IMS implementations and test interdomain interoperability.

Meanwhile, EXPRESS will implement an SDN infrastructure over a federation of three OpenLab test beds (PlanetLab, NITOS and W-iLab.t) and use this infrastructure for evaluating its solution. The NITOS and W-iLab.t test beds will host a number of wireless mesh routers with SDN capabilities and “local” SDN controllers capable to take control of unconnected portions of the network.

The PlanetLab test bed will be used to create an SDNcapable wired backbone that interconnects the wireless mesh networks and hosts a “main” SDN controller.


Developers of peer-to-peer applications need to ensure scalability and performance under realistic conditions prior to expensive large-scale real-world deployment. OpenLab test beds offer developers the opportunity to test and evaluate their applications under various settings.

However, the diversity of the test beds can require adaptations of the application for each test bed. The OpenLab-Eclectic tool makes it easier for peer-to-peer developers to deploy and monitor experiments.

PSP-SEC has two main requirements – first a large test bed able to create a realistic topology, and second the building an overlay network to implement the out-of-band message exchange required by the PSP-SEC protocol.

OpenLab is able to comply with both requirements by providing a large test bed with full administrator control, and by allowing the use of PlanetLAB. In line with this approach, OpenLab also provides mechanisms to ease the interaction among test beds, simplifying the execution of the PSP-SEC experiment.

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