FELIX: Federated Test-beds for Large-scale Experiments
FELIX is creating a common framework where users can request, monitor and manage slices of resources (computing, storage, networking, etc.) provisioned over distributed and distant Future Internet experimental facilities in Europe and Japan. Relevant topics emerged in FELIX research which require further investigation and community support are:
- Joint control and management of both network and computing resources, with more and more function virtualisation techniques to allow multi-tenancy on shared hardware resources, flexibility and highly dynamic network and data centre reconfigurations.
- Federation of resources from multiple facilities/owners, more and more geographically dispersed across the world, to increase the scale of the experimental facilities, spread the access to new technologies to the larger society, optimise the investments/costs of infrastructures.
- Enhanced monitoring of the virtualised resources (network + computing), to allow more fine grain control of the virtual resources and networks end-to-end.
- Solid International collaborations to foster the appropriate impact of Future Internet solutions and enablers beyond the borders.
FELIX is creating an integrated Europe-Japan SDN test-bed to:
- Utilise functionality of OpenFlow and NSI (Network Service Interface) for creation of Federated SDN Services.
- Introduce new APIs and logic for globally distributed heterogeneous SDN and IT islands.
- Enable interchange of resources information, share overall resource pools.
- Provide dynamic network interconnectivity between and within islands.
To this purpose, FELIX has designed and is implementing a control framework for the integration of different resources (e.g. transit network, datacenter network, computing and storage, etc.) residing in multi-domain heterogeneous facilities. The inter-domain dynamic connection provisioning mechanism used in FELIX to build inter-continental resource slices is based on the Network Service Interface specified by OGF, and currently under deployment by many R&E networks around the world.
Main area of applicability for the FELIX results is the domain of federated infrastructures for Future Internet experimentation and research. Nevertheless, the FELIX control framework and its tools for orchestration, control and policy enforcement on top of virtualised resources have the potential to create a broader impact on multiple stakeholders. The key FELIX assets on federation and NSI can impact the business of network operators, particularly those in the R&E business/area, who can benefit from these solutions to enhance their current service offer in production environments, and thus allow a better use of their network and computing infrastructures. Also, the FELIX research can open business potentials for the technology providers (both SMEs and research centres) who can leverage on the developed foreground on federation and virtualisation to configure as solution experts towards other network operators and facility owners.
This is the first position paper from the FELIX project. FELIX leverages on OFELIA and RISE projects, run in Europe and Japan, respectively. The project enhances the existing tools and infrastructures developed in these initiatives and deploys a new federation framework, targeting EU and JP research communities as potential users of the common infrastructure. FELIX is closely cooperating with the GÉANT project, which in one of its activities addresses the problem of federation of network and compute infrastructures to create dynamic experimental facilities for GÉANT users. FELIX is currently investigating possibilities of federating European and Japanese testing facilities with other regions of the world, i.e. other Asia countries and the United States.