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The PRAGMA-ENT expedition was established in October 2013 with the goal of constructing a breakable international software-defined network (SDN) testbed for use by PRAGMA researchers and collaborators. PRAGMA-ENT is breakable in the sense that it offers complete freedom for researchers to access network resources to develop, experiment, and evaluate new ideas without concerns of interfering with a production network. PRAGMA-ENT will provide the necessary networking support to the PRAGMA multi-cloud and user-defined trust envelopes.
PRAGMA-ENT connects heterogeneous resources in different countries as illustrated in Figure 1 - sites may or may not have OpenFlow-enabled switches, and may or may not have direct connection to PRAGMA-ENT Layer-2 backbone. For participants not on the PRAGMA-ENT Layer-2 backbone, overlay network technologies (such as ViNe, developed at UF) will offer the necessary connectivity extensions.
Figure 1. PRAGMA-ENT Data Plane. Hardware and software OpenFlow switches are connected via Layer-2 paths and/or Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) tunnels on ViNe overlays.
PRAGMA-ENT Layer 2 (L2) backbone consists of open-flow enabled hardware switches in seven institutions connected through high-speed research networks, as illustrated in Figure 2. VLANs (IEEE 802.1q) are appropriately mapped to feed direct L2 links to switches.
Figure 2. PRAGMA-ENT L2 Backbone. High-speed research networks (FLR, Internet2, JGN-X, TWAREN, and PacificWave) interconnects OpenFlow-enabled hardware switches in the USA (University of Florida and University of California San Diego), Japan (Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Osaka University, and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology), and Taiwan (National Applied Research Laboratories).
PRAGMA-ENT will provide a virtual network slice for each application, user, and/or project in order to enable independent and isolated development and evaluation of software-defined network functions (Figure 3). FlowVisor, FlowSpace Firewall, OpenVirteX and AutoVFlow are being evaluated to create virtual network slices.
Figure 3. PRAGMA-ENT flow space control for slicing network.
- PICA8 switch at UF, UCSD, NAIST, AIST
- HP switch at Osaka-U
- 19 nodes dedicated to PRAGMA-ENT at UF
- 08 nodes dedicated to PRAGMA-ENT at UCSD
- 04 nodes dedicated to PRAGMA-ENT at NAIST
- 04 nodes dedicated to PRAGMA-ENT at AIST
- 05 nodes dedicated to PRAGMA-ENT at Osaka-U
PRAGMA-ENT has support from Internet2, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Florida Lamda Rail (FLR), Pacific Wave, and TaiWan Advanced Research & Education Network (TWAREN) to establish an international Layer-2 network.