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GENI Experimenters How-to Using Omni tools

This page provides an overview of the actions required by an experimenter to run a GENI experiment using resources from multiple resource aggregates. For an overview of available GENI experiment options and resources see the Available Aggregates page. While working through these examples, you may need to interact with the GENI Infrastructure group to setup specific resources for you (e.g. VLAN or OF VLAN), at a high level, the steps to run a GENI Experiment include:

  • Get credentials from one Clearinghouse, this allows you to access multiple aggregates.
  • Install and configure Omni tools
  • Use the Omni tools to create a slice
  • Request resources from one or more aggregates to add to the slice
  • and of course, run the experiment.

This page focuses on resource allocation with Omni tools, other tools exists to assist the experimenter with resource allocation but are not covered here. Two supporting examples are provided to illustrate the steps needed to run an experiment with GENI resources, each example has a unique scope:

  • GENI Experiment Example 1 covers how to configure and use Omni tools to reserve compute resources from multiple resource aggregates (PG & PL). This example has no specific network requirement, it simply focuses on getting host resources allocated for an experiment.
  • GENI OpenFlow Experiment Example 2 covers how to use Omni tools to request OpenFlow resources as part of an experiment that also uses PG & MyPLC compute resources. The scenario assumes that the experimenter is running an OF controller.

1. Get GENI Credentials

To access GENI resources, an experimenter must have GENI credentials! If you don't have credentials, follow the instructions at SignMeUp.

Note: If you have an account with a Clearinghouse other than (e.g., you can still use Omni to reserve resources but you will not be able to complete the above two examples so we strongly recommend that you sign up with GPO's clearing house.

2. Get Omni Tools

To get access to the GENI resources you can use the OMNI client which is part of the GENI Control Framework (GCF) software package. Get the GCF package at this GCF location and install it using the Quick Start] instructions.

Once the Omni tool is installed, follow the configuration instructions.

3. Define Required Resources

You are now ready to define the resources required for your experiment. The Omni tools can be used to query a Resource Aggregate to get a list of available resources. In the supporting GENI Experiment Example 1 page, an example is provided that show how to list available resources in the PG and PL aggregates. The results can be used to generate an RSPEC that defines the resource you would like to use in the experiment. Example Rspec files are available for PlanetLab resources and for ProtoGENI resources. More RSpec details can be found at the ProtoGENI site. Also for a list of GENI aggregates that are currently available for GENI users see the list of available aggregates at the GENI Experimenter Portal page.

In defining your experiment resources, you need to determine if VLANs are to be used. The following VLAN options are available for GENI Experiments:

  1. ProtoGENI VLAN (Internet2 only) available via the ProtoGENI Flack client.
  2. OpenFlow VLAN, current state available at GENI Network Core page
  3. Static VLANs which are setup for NLR, Internet2, Regional Providers, and Campuses.

If you decide that no VLANs are needed, simply ignore the VLAN and OF VLAN details below and proceed to the Get Resources step below.

If you are planning to use static or OF VLANs in your GENI experiment, you can reference the GENI Connectivity Home page for background and recommendations to set up GENI connections and experiments. Static VLAN are mostly set up as single or multiple VLANs that may or may not use VLAN Translation. There are other options, which are less common and they include: Layer 2 Tunneling, Direct Fiber Connection, and Higher Layer Tunneling. A high level overview of these VLAN connectivity options is available at the Connectivity Overview page. Detailed steps required to acquire various types of connections between two campuses are captured at VLAN Connectivity Guidelines page. Also for a list of supported OpenFlow VLAN options for your campus you may refer to the Connectivity Options page.

To implement your VLAN choice you can contact, with a request that defines your VLAN requirements. In the request you should capture the following details:

  • VLAN connection type
  • your campus VLAN details
  • the regional networks provider for the sites/campuses you plan to use
  • the national research backbone(s) for your sites.

If you are not sure what Site/Regional/Backbone VLAN resources you are using, you can get assistance at

If you are planning to use OpenFlow (OF) VLAN resources for your experiment you can use Omni tools to query and request OF resources from a site OpenFlow Aggregate Manager. The GENI OpenFlow Experiment Example 2 page captures an OF Experiment and walks through the Authentication, Omni tools configuration, Resource Allocation, Opt-in Manager Administrative approval, up to running an experiment.

If you require help to set up your OF resources, support is available at, where you will get support to get the OF VLAN resources needed for your experiment and provide the following details: resource needed, location of the resource, and experiment characteristics (Speed, Bandwidth requirements, etc). Details required for the OF VLAN depend on the experiment, therefore the list of information required will vary for your experiment. For additional information on how to configure Omni tools see the Omni OpenFlow page for details.

4. Get Resources

The Omni tools can create a slice and reserve one or more resource slivers. In the supporting GENI Experiment Example 1 page, examples are provides that show how to:

Similarly, for an experiment using OF flowspace resources, see the GENI OpenFlow Experiment Example 2 page, which also provides examples as in the above. For additional details on how to get framework resources: within PlanetLab see the Omni PlaneLab page, or within ProtoGENI Emulab see the Omni ProtoGENI page.

5. Run Experiment

Once the slice and sliver resources are ready, and a VLAN or an OF VLAN has been successfully set up, you may now run your experiment.

Remember to monitor the expiration time for your slice for each of the resource aggregates with the Omni sliverstatus option and to extend expiration as needed with the renewsliver option. An example for checking the sliverstatus and renewsliver can be found here.

When your experiment is completed, you should delete slivers to release your resources from each resource aggregate used.

Email for GENI support or email me with feedback on this page!

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