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Emulator coming soon

Emulation facilitates the testing of OpenR on large virtual network topologies in order of minutes. This testing is critical for any non-trivial software changes. We enforce testing on at-least a 1000 node topology before code changes can be checked in.

Overview and Terminology


  • Host => Physical machine on which nodes will be emulated
  • Node => Virtual entity mimicking machine. We use container technique which provides network, process, disk isolation
  • Link => Connects two virtual node with certain properties like loss, latency, jitter etc.
  • Topology => Particular arrangement of nodes and links (e.g. grid, random) describes virtual topology being emulated.

emulator python tool is the main magic here. To get started with it just run

emulator --help

How Node is Emulated ?

Each node is emulated via a linux container (systemd-nspawn) which provides us process, network, disk and hostname isolation. It mimics a separate physical machine.

Each node gets a unique /64 out of rack's network space and it's NDP requests are proxied by the host on which the node is present. In this way, we can add lot of virtual nodes to a single host (as IP space is pretty big) without any changes in the network for routing (normal routing/switching will be able to forward a packet destined for virtual node correctly).

How ALink is Emulated ?

A link is a pipe/circuit between two nodes with one interface being on each side. In config.json each link is directional describing the interface and node on each end of the link. The Link is emulated using gre tunnels between two virtual namespaces. There can be multiple links between two given nodes by using different keys for tunnels.

Emulation Resources


A virtual topology is built on the top of a set of physical resources and can span multiple physical servers. There are some assumptions needed for Emulation to span across multiple hosts as described below.

  • Each server has a globally addressable IPv6 address and /64 net-mask
  • <server-network>::feed::0/96 is not being used by anyone within the rack
  • All emulation hosts are directly reachable from each other

Functionalities


  • Generate a user-defined topology config (e.g grid, random, full-mesh)
  • Setup all nodes, links and network configurations from the generated configs
  • Perform various validations such as topology, fib, connectivity
  • Perform real scenario behaviors such as link-flaps (bring up/down links), processes-flaps (restart some of the openr processes)
  • Other useful features to help test openr such as check hosts/nodes/services status, ssh to nodes etc.
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