What is Confine?


This in an effort to describe CONFINE project in my own words, so I and you, can understand it better.

Community Networks: Large scale, self-organized and decentralized networks  and services built and operated by citizens for citizens.

Community-owned Open Local IP Networks (COPLAN)

CONFINE is a European project under the FIRE initiative. The technical goal of CONFINE is to create a community networking testbed, Community Lab. That is, to create a testbed over community network infrastructure where researchers will be able to conduct their experiments. Of course, more outcomes are to be expected, like the expansion of already existing community networks, the broadening of our knowledge about community networks and the development of open-source software for the testbed available to everyone.

In order achieve the creation of a sufficiently large testbed where thousands of experiments can run in parallel there is the need for many community networks to be interconnected. This is achieved by connecting existing community networks, like GUIFI and AWMN, with existing internet infrastructures, like FEDERICA. Furthermore, Community Lab allows the researchers to perform experiments at different network levels. As a result, CONFINE must deal with heterogeneous nodes as well as with varying links and routing protocols. To overcome some of the challenges part of the knowledge obtained from Planetlab is deployed, as it represents a successful network testbed.

Some info summarized by a poster presented in IEEE Peer-to-Peer Conference:

  • GoalMore than 40 research nodes inside several communities in Europe before end of 2012 and growing
  • Experiments: Slices of network and nodes with isolation
  • Nodes: Own firmware based on OpenWRT
  • Slivers: LXC containers, own IP address and system image

  • Links: Radio (WiFi), some with fibre, IPv4, IPv6

  • Experiments: Remote control via Web portal, ssh, OMF, etc.

The final product of the project will be testbed where the researchers will be able to test their own protocols and applications deploying them on real community networks.


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