ExoGENI is based on an extended Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud model with coordinated provisioning across multiple sites and a high degree of control over intra- and inter-site networking functions. Most researchers will use a standard cloud computing stack to instantiate and manage virtual machines. The sites federate by delegating certain functions for identity management, authorization, and resource management to common coordinator services offered by the ExoGENI federation; ExoGENI in turn delegates some of these functions to the GENI federation and to identity systems operated by participating institutions (Shibboleth/inCommon).

This structure enables a network of private ExoGENI IaaS clouds to operate as a hybrid community cloud. ExoGENI combines this multi-domain cloud structure with rich networking capabilities through direct Layer 2 site connectivity to national circuit backbone fabrics, linkages to other national and international networks, and OpenFlow-enabled dataplanes within each site.

It provides unified access to these services to enable users to construct virtual network topologies on demand. The testbed software supports GENI APIs and extended APIs to enable users to create and manage a virtual network as a slice of virtualized resources within the infrastructure. Basic operations envisioned within ExoGENI include:

  • Provisioning individual compute resources (virtualized and bare-metal) from rack resources. Users will be able to supply boot images for virtualized instances; bare-metal instances will be limited to a few vetted images.
    • We support Linux (bare-metal and virtual) and Windows (virtual, possibly also bare-metal).
  • Creating, modifying and destroying slices consisting of compute resources belonging to one or more racks, tied together with VLANs provisioned from rack switches and intermediate circuit providers.
  • Create slices with user-driven packet forwarding control via OpenFlow. OpenFlow slices will be restricted to VLANs provisioned within and between the racks.
    • Using OpenFlow, in the longer term we plan to offer an on-ramp feature for allowing external traffic (from campuses or other slices) to transit existing slices (slice-as-a-service).
  • Create slices that combine ExoGENI resources with other GENI resources (e.g. meso-scale OpenFlow and WiMax testbeds; via our switch at the StarLight facility we plan to create experimental L2 topologies that involve international partners).

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