FP7 ALIEN project

ALIEN is co-organizing EWSDN 2014


ALIEN is co-organizing European Workshop on Software Defined Networking (EWSDN 2014) together with the FP7 project UNIFY. The workshop will be held in Budapest, Hungary between September 1st and September 3rd, 2014.

Call for Demos and Posters for EWSDN 2014 is open with a deadline on 5 July.

For more information visit: http://www.ewsdn.eu/

ALIEN on the Terena Networking Conference 2014

ALIEN TNC14 During TNC2014 Conference in Dublin (19-22.05.2014) ALIEN will present Hardware Abstraction Layer for non-OpenFlow capable devices. Session Advanced networking is planned on Thuesday 20 May at 2 p.m.

“This presentation shows a way forward for adding SDN-based control on network devices that are not compatible with OpenFlow and introduces a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) for non-OpenFlow capable devices that addresses this problem and discuss its advantages. In particular, the presentation explains how a HAL-based architecture can support different classes of network devices.” 
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ALIEN on the FIRE booth during FIA2014 in Athens

Three ALIEN demonstations are planned on the FIRE booth during Future Internet Assembly in Athens (18-20.03.2014) to show main project achievements thus far:

Demo 1 – Video on Demand in OpenFlow networks.

It demonstrates the first successful deployment of the ALIEN’s Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) for EZchip NP-3 and Intel platforms with DPDK processors. In the demo end users’ applications are running in the OpenFlow-controlled network environment empowered by the latest HAL release for non-OpenFlow network equipment.

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The 3rd ALIEN project meeting


The 3rd ALIEN project meeting took place on 3-5 February at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Spain.

The meeting was primarily devoted to WP1, WP6 and WP5, with some additional discussion on FIA Athens 2014 ALIEN presence and the ALIEN Workshop at EWSDN 2014. The project amendment has been discussed and agreed among all partners. Last day was dedicated to the software development meeting, with a focus on WP3 and AMsoil.




NetFPGA Spring Camp 2013, 20-24 May 2013, Poznań (Poland)

Build an Internet router and learn about clean-slate switches in a 5-day spring school will be held at Poznan University of Technology in Poznań, Poland.

This event will be like previous summer-school events but, excitingly, will be the first NetFPGA event to exclusively use the new NetFPGA 10G boards.

The NetFPGA platform originated at Stanford University and more-recently updated NetFPGA (10Gb/s) have been developed in collaboration with Cambridge University. The NetFPGA platform enables researchers and instructors to build high-speed, hardware-accelerated networking systems. The platform can be used in the classroom to teach students how to build Ethernet switches and Internet Prototcol (IP) routers using hardware rather than software. The platform can be used by researchers to prototype advanced services for next-generation networks.

By using Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), the NetFPGA enables new types of packet routing circuits to be implemented and detailed measurements of network traffic to be obtained. During the tutorial, we will use the NetFPGA to determine the amount of memory needed to buffer TCP/IP data streaming through the Gigabit/second router. Hardware circuits within the NetFPGA will be implemented to measure and plot the occupancy of buffers. Circuits will be downloaded into reconfigurable hardware and tested with live, streaming Internet video traffic.

More details on this event on the NetFPGA event website.

ALIEN 2nd Face-to-Face Meeting, 26-27 March 2013, Berlin (Germany)

The 2nd Face-to-Face meeting took place on 26-27 March 2013 in Berlin Institute of Technology (TU Berlin) premises and was hosted by EICT. The meeting’s purpose was to make agreement on some architecture assumptions, work organization and next steps  to be done. All work packages have presented the current work progress and the most important issues to be discussed. During the meeting the discussions have conducted on how the Hardware Abstraction Layer should be placed on the different Hardware Platforms. Another discussed issue was to how integrate the ALIEN hardware platforms with the OFELIA Control Framework together with specifying some technical details e.g. the OpenFlow version to be supported. The important issue that was discussed during the F2F meeting were the Experiments on OFELIA and ALIEN hardware. During the meeting the agreement of all ALIEN consortium partners was taken and action points as well as important steps to be done in near future have been defined. The meeting has also scoped on most important administrative and financial issues.

Network Processors Workshop, 27-28 March 2013, Berlin (Germany)


ALIEN consortium is organizing the Network Processors Workshop that will be held on 27th- 28th March 2013 in EICT premises (Berlin, Germany).

Workshop goals

  • present an overview of network processors available on the market
  • present and discuss an architecture, programming model and development tools of EZchip and Octeon network processors
  • present the Dell’s Split Data Plane concept

After this workshop each participant will gather necessary knowledge to choose a suitable network processor for a given application. The participant will be also familiar with the architecture and capabilities of EZchip and Octeon network processors and will learn how to develop advanced network applications using thier features. As a complementary item in the agenda, the Dell’s Split Data Plane concept will be presented and discussed as a potential solution for heterogeneous devices combining the advantages of presented circuits.

Workshop venue

Meeting Room: EN0.58
IT-Service-Center an der TUB
Einsteinufer 17 / stairs D („Treppe D“)
10587 Berlin

Directions: You are in front of the Institute of Architecture (building 6 in the sketch above). Turn right into Straße des17.Juni and take the next possible entrance left. Head straight over the campus to building 10 (EN), recognizable by its aluminum façade.

How to arrive

By plane

Arrival at Berlin-Tegel Airport (TXL)

Take the X9 bus, heading for Zoologischer Garten. Get out at the U-Bahnhof Ernst-Reuter-Platz stop. From the bus stop, follow the roundabout of Ernst-Reuter-Platz in counter-clockwise direction and cross two big streets: Hardenbergstraße and Straße des 17. Juni. Follow the arrow in the picture.

Arrival at Berlin-Schönefeld Airport (SXF)

Take the transfer bus, or bus 171 to S-Bahnhof Schönefeld and take the Regionalexpress or take the S9 train, heading for Westkreuz. Get out at Zoologischer Garten. Either take the U2, heading for Ruhleben, or take the bus M45, 245 or X9 the very short distance to Ernst-Reuter-Platz.

By car

If you are coming to Berlin by car, it’s best to take the A100. From exit (Ausfahrt) no. 8 “Kaiserdamm Süd”, you normally need about 10 minutes to drive along the Kaiserdamm / Bismarckstraße to Ernst-Reuter-Platz. Take the third exit in the roundabout (Marchstraße) and follow the street until you get to a traffic light in front of a bridge. Turn right into Einsteinufer and follow to number 17.

By train

Arrival at Zoologischer Garten station

Take the underground U2, heading for Ruhleben, one stop to Ernst-Reuter-Platz. You can also take a bus M45, 245 or X9.

Arrival at Hauptbahnhof (central station)

From Hauptbahnhof you can take any S train heading for Zoologischer Garten, where you get out. Take the underground U2, heading for Ruhleben, one stop to Ernst-Reuter-Platz.

Recommended Hotels

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WLAN with costs
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Hotel Otto
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FIRE Engineering Workshop, 6-7 November 2012, Ghent (Belgium)

FIRE (Future Internet Research and Experimentation) initiative is approaching experimentation from two angles: the “FIRE facilities”, i.e. test beds or groups of test beds that offer services to experimenters for advanced Future Internet related experimentations; and “FIRE research projects”, which investigate new concepts and issues in relation with Future Internet, and can also, perform Future Internet experimentations. Supporting a wide range of innovative experimentations allows the right pieces to be put together. In this respect FIRE is a critical enabler.
In this context the Future Internet Research and Experimentation (FIRE) initiative under the lead of the FIRESTATION support action organised a two days engineering workshop that had given the opportunity to interested experts meet and discuss the different aspects of the endeavour. Prospective authors from academia and industry were invited to submit extended abstracts of results from research and experimentation work, demonstrating best practices and approaches to experimentation and novel use of experimentation facilities. Experimental facilities providers were invited to submit extended abstracts that demonstrate details of advanced capabilities of their testbeds. Two categories of papers were being accepted:

  • Advanced functions of experimental facilities
  • Experimentation results from the research community

On the FIRE conference the ALIEN project had been presented by Bartosz Belter (PSNC) during the session called “Presentation of new experimentation projects from call 8”. There had been presented the ALIEN project objectives, challenges, proposed concepts and solution the existing network problems as well as some short introduction to Software Defined Networks, major project milestones and expected results.

Further information is available at the events website:


More info on the ALIEN project presentation during FIRE Engineering Workshop:



European Workshop on SDN (EWSDN), 25-26 October, Darmstadt (Germany)

Software defined networking (SDN) is emerging as a promising architectural solution to support and foster innovation in telecommunication networks. Several switch and router vendors are “opening” their hardware, offering APIs to allow for “software defined” control of the networking operations. The vitality of the SDN approach is witnessed by the release of several SDN tools and development environments, most of which are open sourced.

The first edition of the European Workshop on Software Defined Networks was held in Darmstadt on the 25th & 26th of October 2012. The goal was bringing together both: industry and academia on the topics of SDN. The European research projects, funded by the EU under the Seventh Framework Programme, provided the ground and contributed to the workshop ideation and realization.

Traditional strengths of European research and development have been in optical transmission and wireless, especially cellular networks. The workshop emphasized aspects of software defined networks that come up when extending SDN “beyond Ethernet.” In this regard, use of “European” was not meant at all to restrict the workshop to a geographic scope— contributions and participants from all over the world were welcomed.

Twenty scientific papers from academic and industrial research were included in the proceedings. Beyond 15 papers coming from the regular call for papers, a further 5 papers belong to a special session for the  highest ranked proposals in the context of the second open call of the OFELIA project. The paper selection process was carried out with the help of the reviews performed by the Technical Program Committee members. The papers in the special session for OFELIA were reviewed and accepted under the direct responsibility of the TPC co-chairs.

To strengthen the industrial participation and the cooperation with academia, an industry track featuring 10 SDN related presentations from leading technology providers and network providers have been set up. A panel about open hardware and open software for SDN completed the program.

The ALIEN project had been presented by Artur Binczewski (PSNC) – the ALIEN project coordinator. There had been presented the ALIEN project objectives, challenges, proposed concepts and solution of the existing network problems as well as major project milestones and expected results.

Further information is available at the events website:


ALIEN kick-off Meeting, 4-5 October 2012, Poznan (Poland)

First general project meeting took place on 4-5 October in Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre premises in Poznan, Poland.
The meeting’s purpose was to initiate the work of all partners by letting them meet personally, get to know each other and organize cooperation schemes. All work packages were introduced and the most important issues were discussed.
Project members can find the presentations along with meeting agenda and meeting minutes on the ALIEN Wiki pages.
Many administrative and organizational decisions have been made, incorporating the most important aspects of the project. It was also possible to discuss and make appointments regarding the following WP-internal meetings.