FP7 ALIEN project

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Experiments on OFELIA

The Experiments on OFELIA activity is responsible for running the experiments over the OFELIA FIRE experimental facility, in order to test and demonstrate ALIEN HAL concept.

This activity aims towards five specific goals:

  • Definition of requirements of the Content-Centric Networking (CCN) usage scenario
  • OFELIA slice deployment and CCN basic scenario setup
  • Adaptation of the CCN application layer to an OpenFlow environment
  • Integration of alien hardware developments over the OFELIA slice
  • Validation of developments and experimental-driving research reporting activity

First of all, this activity is responsible for the integration and validation of all ALIEN developments:

  • HAL agnostic part (see Hardware Abstraction Layer)
  • HAL hardware specific parts for all ALIEN platforms (i.e.: ATCA, DOCSIS, Dell/Force10 switch, EZappliance, GEPON, L0 switch, NetFPGA)
  • CCN solution for research-driven experimentations (i.e.: CONET solution)

Experiments development

The experiments performed by this activity combines CCN with OpenFlow using the existing work from the COntent NETwork (CONET) project. The ALIEN project is actively contributing to the CONET development in cooperation with the team that is currently supporting the code. Due to the fact that the ALIEN project deals with OpenFlow, the ALIEN consortium focuses mainly on the OpenFlow related part of the CONET development (i.e. the FloodLight controller modules). Currently, some areas CONET for enhancement have been identified (see Fig.1) and agreed between ALIEN and CONET teams:

  • multiple-cache server support
  • topology-aware path computation

Figure 1 – ALIEN improvements to the current CONET development


The CCN experiments based on CONET solution are performed within an ALIEN slice created in OFELIA testbed (see Fig.2). The ALIEN slice includes both computational resources (e.g. end-nodes, CONET nodes and OpenFlow controller), ALIEN hardware platforms and OpenFlow devices from the pool of resources provided by OFELIA.

Figure 2 – ALIEN slice topology within OFELIA FIRE testbed

Usage scenarios

Currently, ALIEN defined four use-cases which will be used to test whether the implementation of OpenFlow has been successful on the ALIEN hardware and the utility of OpenFlow in networking scenarios:

  • base scenario (without ALIEN improvements)
  • split routing scenario (see Fig. 3)
  • cache assisted scenario (extra cache nodes are used)
  • combined scenario (combines both split routing and multiple cache scenarios)

Figure 3 – Alternative routes scenario for ALIEN experimentation

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