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OpenFlow Campus Trials at Indiana University GEC12 Report

Christopher Small – Principal Investigator
Matthew Davy – Co-Principal Investigator
Dave Jent – Co-Principal Investigator


  • FlowScale deployment and demo at GEC12 and SC11
  • RouteFlow regional testbed deployment and demo at Open Networking Summit
  • OpenFlow Training for campus network staff
  • Restoration of cross-campus links
  • Additional wired and wireless OpenFlow deployments
  • ProtoGENI Deployment

Major Accomplishments


Description of Work Performed

FlowScale deployment and demo at GEC12 and SC11: Flowscale, a load balancing application, was demonstrated at GEC12 in the plenary and the demo session. Flowscale is an OpenFlow based application deployed at Indiana University to loadbalance traffic being fed to the campus IDS system. The goals for the project are not only to provide a inexpensive and customizable loadbalancer but to:

  • Provide a non-mision critical way to introduce OpenFlow switches to the production campus network
  • Introduce OpenFlow technology more widely to the campus networking staff to assist in wider deployments that can be used by GENI
  • Provide an application that can be used by GENI and non-GENI campuses that can allow them to connect to GENI
  • Provide an production application using OpenFlow technology that can be reliable and run at extremely high capacity (>10Gb/sec)

At SC11 we demonstrated an additional capability of the FlowScale system to fit into a elastic cloud application where a remote site supports a portion of the traffic load dynamicly. This included deployment of a wide area circuit across the GENI NLR backbone to the SC Show Floor and the SCinet Research Sandbox.

A poster and slides describing FlowScale are posted on the GENI wiki. A web site with Source code repository, documentation and forums to provide a community to continue development will be availible at

RouteFlow regional testbed deployment and demo at Open Networking Summit: At the Open Networking Summit (ONS) held at Stanford University we demonstrated a hardware deployment of the RouteFlow software code, in collaboration with CpQD, Google and Open Source Routing. The demonstration showed a sample network with BGP and OSPF peerings between OpenFlow switches and connections to commercial routers over wide area circuits between a router at the CIC Omnipop in Chicago and the Indiana Gigapop in Indianapoolis. RouteFlow uses a virtual routing topology with Quagga (or any other server based routing software) that is mapped to hardware switches using OpenFlow. More information about the Routeflow regional hardware testbed is included in the ONS poster and at the RouteFlow site

Not only is RouteFlow an experiment in itself but provides an opportunity for developing and deploying Layer 3 infrastructure easily and robustly as part of GENI where additional experiments can be run on top of the RouteFlow framework. The hardware used for the experiment 4 Pronto switches may become part of GENI either as part of the Internet2 NDDI backbone or as part of the Indiana campus or regional networks.

OpenFlow Training for campus network staff: We have conducted a full day hands-on training for IU campus network staff on OpenFlow technology and GENI. This training was essentially the same as the GENI OpenFlow workshop for network engineers conducted at GEC12. 12 engineers participated in the workshop and we received lots of great feedback from the participants who learned the fundamentals of Openflow and how it can be applied to problems facing campus networks. This workshop will be also improved and conducted at the next 2 Internet2 Joint Tech Conferences. We are also investigating conducting another workshop for campus in the region at Indianapolis.

The focus of these workshops are for network engineers to get operators of the network comfortable with the technology and able to suggest areas where it may be able to help them in there daily tasks. Hopeful this will allow a greater deployment of switches and infrastructure that can be utilized by GENI.

Restoration of Campus Links : We have restored the cross campus link between Indianapolis and Bloomington as a 1Gig vlan across the campus networks. We are still exploring ways to possibly get a dedicated 10G circuit between campuses for experimentation including GENI.

Deployment to new buildings/IU UITS building moves: We are continuing deployments to new switches and new buildings. We have moved OpenFlow connections from additional switches in the Telcom building to the main production switches in the building. We have also added wireless OpenFlow support in the Indianapolis campus. The moves of the IT staff to different offices has been coordinated and OpenFlow enabled ports moved to the new office locations. Additional OpenFlow capabilities are also available in the Lindley building on the Bloomington campus.

ProtoGENI deployments:: We have deployed 2 ProtoGENI switches in the Bloomington Data Center. These will very shortly be attached to GENI as we get the Bloomington switches configured into the GENI OpenFlow slice using the cross-campus link

Activities and Findings

SC11: Provided assistance in the deployment of the OpenFlow lab at the Interop Las Vegas conference

Project Participants

During this time, key participants in the OpenFlow campus trial included:

  • Chris Small, PI
  • Matt Davy, Co-PI
  • John Meylor
  • Ali Khalfan
  • Jason Muller
  • Ron Milford
  • Camilo Viecco


Publications & Documents

Small, C, FlowScale Poster GENI Engineering Conference 12, Kansas City, MO

Small, C, RouteFlow Regonial Deplyment Poster

Small C., Davy M. OpenFlow overview from GEC12 network Engineer workshop

GENI Documents


Attachments (4)