Network Virtualization for OpenCloud

Principal Investigator(s): 
Scott Shenker

Researchers are working to implement a network virtualization infrastructure to allow the academic community to explore the fundamental technical challenges that underlie the cloud.

The cloud is rapidly changing the face of Web infrastructure, enabling even small companies to quickly create Web and mobile applications for millions of users by taking advantage of the scale and flexibility of the shared physical infrastructures provided by cloud providers. Unfortunately, the academic community is at risk of being left out of this exciting paradigm shift; while they can use commercial cloud offerings, their opportunity to influence these offerings is shrinking. In response, this project proposes the exploration of NSF OpenCloud, an infrastructure that would allow researchers to explore the fundamental technical challenges that underlie the cloud.

One of these technical challenges is that of network virtualization. The goal of network virtualization is to "compile" a diverse set of tenant-specific requirements into a single configuration of the underlying physical network, enabling multi-tenant datacenters to automatically (that is, without manual configuration) simultaneously address a large and diverse set of customer requirements. This proposal investigates a novel approach to implementing network virtualization that places all nontrivial packet transformations at the edge of the physical network. This project will produce an open-source implementation of this approach. In addition, it will compare its performance to other approaches and then extend it to more sophisticated network functionality.

Funding provided by NSF grant CNS-1343947, EAGER: Network Virtualization for OpenCloud.