The following information are notes adapted from the deliverable Initial system software and services of the testbed of the CONFINE project.
1. Deploy hardware that is known to be stable long time (mostly concerning the outdoors conditions faced) and cut CPU performance
2. Deploy hardware with reasonable CPU performance and virtualize Wi-Fi interfaces using the DELP protocol developed in the CONFINE project.
Finally the second option was chosen (focus on researcher’s needs).
Confine Node Software
- LXC for isolation and virtualization of sliver systems
- Linux Cgroups for ensuring local sliver isolation
- Linux TC and Qdisc tools for controlling sliver network load
- VLAN tagging and Linux firewall tools to ensure network isolation
- Public interface: L4 and up -> ebtables
- Isolated interface: L3 and up -> VLAN
- Raw Interfaces: Layer 1 and up -> physically separeted, not yet supported
- Passive Interface: capture realtime traffic -> anonimity problem? not yet supported
- Tinc for providing the management overlay network
First Iteration: “A-Hack”
Implements node internal data structures and functions for executing node and experiments management tasks.
Second Iteration: “Bare-Bones”
Reuses the outcome of the first development cycle as backend functions. Once completed, it will contain the full node design and management API.
Node & Sliver Management Functions
- node_enable/disable: cleanly activate/deactivate participation of the RD in the testbed. Reads node and testbed specific config from
/etc/config/CONFINE-defaultsto set up: hostname, ssh public keys, tinc mgmt net, br-local, br-internal, dummy testing LXC container
- sliver_allocate: allocate resources on an RD necessary to execute an experiment
- sliver_deploy: set-up sliver environment in an RD (What’s the difference between allocate and deploy???)
- sliver_start/stop/remove: create VETH iface, install ebtables, tc, qdisc, boot LXC container, set-up cgroups, set-up management routes
Open Question – Openflow
Layer 2 experiments are considered by supporting the OpenFlow standard and other Software-Defined Networking (SDN) possibilities enabled via the Open vSwitch [OvS] implementation by allowing researchers the registration of a switch controller. Therefore Open vSwitch has been ported to OpenWrt but further investigations and development efforts are needed to clarify the management and integration of this architecture into the CNS.
Note about VCT
The virtual RDs are linked with their local interface to a local bridge (vct-local) on the system hosting the VCT environment. Further bridges are instantiated to emulate direct links between nodes (vct-direct-01, vct-direct-02, …).
By connecting the vct-local bridge to a real interface it is possible to test interaction between virtual and real CONFINE nodes (RDs). This way VCT can also assist in managing real and physically deployed nodes and experiments.
In the CONFINE project, a custom testbed management framework has been developed.However, to allow interoperability with existing tools and to avoid a steep learning curve for researchers, the project has also developed an OMF integration.
nodeDB or CNDB or commonNodeDB
For community wireless networks (CWNs), a node database serves as a central repository of network information. It comprises information about nodes deployed at certain locations, devices installed at these locations, information about internet addresses, and — in networks that use explicit link planning — links among devices. [...] Historically, each community network has built their own node database and corresponding tools. There was some effort to come up with a common implementation of a node database but so far none of these efforts has seen deployment beyond one or two installations. [...] To get a better understanding of the common requirements of community wireless networks and to eventually facilitate interoperability, the community network markup language (CNML) project was founded in 2006. To date we know of an implementation by guifi.net and another similar XML export by Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network (AWMN).
Common Node Database:
To avoid duplicating data in the community network database and the research database, the common node database implementation was started.
Some possible applications that nodeDB will enable are: IP address registry and allocation, Map, Link planning, Auto configuration of devices. Also an common DB approach will ebable the investigation of experimental features like: Social networking functions, Federation, Services offered by the network or by users.
Testbed Management Implementation
The management software is implemented based on Django.
Horizontal or network federation:
Interconnection of different community networks at the network layer (OSI layer 3) so that a testbed can span several disconnected networks, i.e. so that testbed components in different networks can be managed by the same entity and they can reach each other at the network layer.
Vertical or testbed federation
Given a set of different, autonomous testbeds (each one being managed by its own entity), the usual case is that the resources and infrastructure in any of them is not directly available to experiments running in other testbeds because of administrative reasons (e.g. different authorized users) or technical ones (e.g. incompatible management protocols).
- Community-Lab is a testbed deployed based on the CONFINE testbed software system.
- Dynamic Link Exchange Protocol (DLEP) is a proposed IETF standard for protocol for radio-router communication. The intention is to be able to transport information such as layer 1/2 information from a radio to a router e.g. over a standard ethernet link. Depending on the final feature-set the router might even be able to (re-)configure certain settings of the radio. The general use of these protocols is to provide link layer information to the L3 protocols running on the router.
- Process control group (Cgroup) is a Linux kernel feature to limit, account and isolate resource usage (CPU, memory, disk I/O, etc.) of process groups. One of the design goals of cgroups was to provide a unified interface to many different use cases, from controlling single processes (like nice) to whole operating system-level virtualization (like OpenVZ, Linux-VServer, LXC).
- cOntrol and Management Framework (OMF) is a control and management framework for networking testbeds.
- Community Network Markup Language (CNML) is a project of people working on an open and scalable standard for local mesh networks, also referred to as local clouds. It is the aim of the project to define an ontology which acts as the basis for the set up and operation of mesh clouds.
- nodeDB or CNDB is A database where all CONFINE devices and nodes are registered and assigned to responsible persons. The nodeDB contains all the backing data on devices, nodes, locations (GPS positions), antenna heights and alignments. Essentially anything which is needed to plan, maintain and monitor the infrastructure.
Virtual Confine Testbed (VCT) is an emulator of an actual CONFINE testbed environment. VCT is an easily deployable resource satisfying many goals simultaneously. For the end-user researcher, VCT is a platform through which he can get a quick overview of the function of a CONFINE testbed, familiarize with the environment as well as proof-test experiments destined for the CONFINE testbed. For the future CONFINE developer, VCT facilitates familiarization with CONFINE research devices (RD) and their behaviour, as an actual CONFINE OpenWrt image is used for the virtual nodes.
VCT uses two levels of virtualization as it creates virtual nodes (RDs) that contain slices belonging to experiment slivers. The actual RDs use Linux Containers (LXC) to run the slices. Thus, we need a virtualization layer that will surround the slice containers and will run the virtual node. This is achieved using KVM. Thus the two layers of virtualization are: KVM nodes and inside the slice containers, as seen in the image below.
All the scripts are softlinks to the main script vct.sh. The scripts are actually implemented as functions in vct.sh where the main function redirects to the corresponding function after checking the name of the executable.