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Project Number


Project Title

Integration and Augmentation of a Prototype GENI Control Plane (ORCA) for a Metro-Scale Optical Testbed (BEN)
a.k.a. ORCAAUG

Technical Contacts

Principal Investigator: Ilia Baldine Ilia Baldine (RENCI)
Co-Principal Investigator: Jeff Chase (Duke)
BEN Operations Staff and IT Contact: Chris Heermann (RENCI)
Software Staff: Yufeng Xin (RENCI) (NDL support)
Software Staff: Aydan Yumerefendi (RENCI) (core software development)
Students: Varun Marupadi (Duke), Matt Sayler (Duke)

Participating Organizations

New Internet Computing Lab (NICL)
Open Resource Control Architecture (ORCA)
BEN: Breakable Experimental Network
Renaissance Computing Insititute (RENCI), Chapel Hill, NC
Duke University, Durham, NC
Infinera Corporation, Sunnyvale, CA

GPO Liason System Engineer

Harry Mussman


This project augments the ORCA/BEN project which was started at the beginning of Spiral 1, and which privdes the basis for the ORCA control framework.

This project will augment the features of the current ORCA Control Framework prototype and integrate work from other relevant GENI projects to substantially increase the capabilities of the framework in the areas of:

(1) unified measurement and experimenter tools, particularly physical layer measurement (2) identity and trust management based on Shibboleth and SAML (3) cloud computing substrates (4) resource description and allocation mechanisms, policies and algorithms.

As the capabilities of ORCA are increased, they will be made available to the associated projects in Cluster D.

In particular, it will assist in the integration of the Integrated Measurement Framework (IMF) and related tools being developed in a separate project, to enable advanced cross-layer experiments in the BEN regional optical network.

It will integrate Shibboleth identity providers (IdPs) and SAML security assertions into ORCA to support: IdP-endorsed credential attributes; the use of attributes for authorization; and proxy authentication, which would enable users to delegate credentials to software entities acting on their behalf.

It will add Orca interfaces (handler and driver plugins) for edge cluster substrates managed by Eucalyptus, a popular virtual/cloud computing systems, and integrate it into ORCA. Eucalyptus is an open-source Xen-based virtual cloud manager designed to resemble Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and cloud storage services.

In cooperation with the ORBIT project, it will extend the Network Description Language (NDL), an OWL-based ontology schema, by developing common ontology specifications and a common set of tools, to better describe all resources being integrated into ORCA and ORBIT. And, it will enable dynamic resource discovery, including the ability to query a broker about resources available.

Current Capabilities

ORCA (Cluster D) Clearinghouse
ORCA clearinghouse equipment location: RENCI, 100 Europa Drive, Chapel Hill, NC.
ORCA clearinghouse will use RENCI public IP addresses.
The ORCA clearinghouse at RENCI is now operational.
Go to Cluster D Clearinghouse at RENCI ; get login from Ilia Baldine
These Cluster D projects have installed (moved) their broker to the clearinghouse: BEN(?); DOME; ViSE; Kansei

ORCA/BEN Integration
On July 7, 2009, the ORCA/BEN team demonstrated to the GENI Project office the ORCA capability to create slices of substrate that include several transit providers, i.e. BEN and NLR.
See "ORCA/BEN Integration Demo with Stitching of VLANs between BEN and NLR", July 7, 2009 and "ORCA/BEN Integration Demo July 7, 2009, web site
This satisfied milestones 1c, 1d and 1e.
The overall demo connectivity was:
No image "orca_ben_demo_connectivity.jpg" attached to ORCAAUG
The demo used ORCA calls to create several VMs at Duke, RENCI and UNC-CH BEN PoPs and then linked them together with VLANs via NLR and BEN:
No image "orcacalls.jpg" attached to ORCAAUG

NLR VLANs were statically provisioned ahead of time via Sherpa.
BEN VLANs were created dynamically, and included provisioning of Infinera DTN circuits as well as fiber paths using Polatis switches.
BEN node at RENCI used port TenGig 2/2 and Duke used TenGig 2/1.

We do not use NDL in the demo to provide the broker or site authority with resource accounting information – this is a Spiral 2 enhancement.

In this demo the NDL request describing a desired BEN connection is passed from the Slice Manager directly to the BEN Transit Authority as part of the redeem procedure. The Slice Manager first acquires a VLAN tag ticket from the VLAN broker and attaches the NDL to this ticket before passing it to the BEN Transit Authority. The BEN Transit Authority then validates the ticket and uses the NDL description of the request to compute the cross‐layer path across BEN.

In the BEN Transit Authority, NDL is also used in the form of the BEN catalogue. This NDL catalogue is pre‐loaded into the Jena ontology engine at the start of the demo. The BEN Transit Authority relies on the contents of the catalogue to compute the cross‐layer path (i.e. which network elements need to be configured) and provide handler/drivers with necessary configuration information.

Because the contents of the ontology is dynamically updated during the demo, the BEN Transit Authority path computation algorithm is intelligent enough to take advantage of the existing links whenever possible (existing links are added to the ontology as the demo progresses). For example, in the case of two slices, the first slice across BEN establishes a fiber connection between respective fiber switches and a DWDM connection between Infinera DTNs. The second slice, aware of the existence of these links based on the contents of the ontology, does not require any fiber switch or Infinera configuration steps and simply configures another VLAN in the 6509 over the existing DWDM connection.


MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: 1a Extend ORCA as a GENI control framework)? status
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: 1b Make an early reference implementation of ORCA available)? status
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: 1c Integration of NDL or other topology description mechanism)? status
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: 1d Integrate ORCA with BEN including slivering of Infinera DTNs)? status
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: 1e Complete end-to-end VLAN connections between BEN and NLR)? status
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: 1f All ORCA assigned prototypes integrated into ORCA clearinghouse)? status
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: 1g Make a working and tested prototype of BEN and GENI available for limited external research)?
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: 1h Delivery of preliminary control framework design documentation)?

MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: S2.a Rel 2.1_1 ORCA code to projects)?
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: S2.b Rel 2.2_1 ORCA code to projects)?
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: S2.c Rel 2.3_1 ORCA code to projects)?
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: S2.d Rel 2.x_1 ORCA code, docs to GPO)?
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: S2.e Operate, extend clearinghouse)?
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: S2.f GMOC access to clearinghouse)?
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: S2.g Cluster plan for VLANs between testbeds)?
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: S2.h BEN testbed access by GENI users)?
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: S2.i BEN testbed access from remote sites)?
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: S2.j VLANs from BEN to backbone)?
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: S2.k Integration of GUSH)?
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: S2.l Experiments BEN and other testbeds)?
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: S2.m POC to GENI response team)?
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: S2.n POC to GENI security team)?
MilestoneDate(ORCABEN: S2.o Contribution to GENI outreach)?

Project Technical Documents

GENI - ORCA, web site maintained by RENCI, incouding ORCA code and ticketing system
(Note: GENI - ORCA website certificate is signed by the RENCI Root CA, and not by a commercial authority. It will typically raise an exception or warning in your browser. You can add RENCI Root CA as a trusted authority in your browser . Alternatively, you can create an exception for the site to accept its certificate as is. Or, you may be able to continue to the website by accepting the warning.)
"Sharing Networked Resources with Brokered Leases", 2006
"ORCA Technical Note: Guests and Guest Controllers", 2008
"BEN GENI Substrate Description", 2008
ORCA-fest May 28, 2009, web site
"Experimenting with Ontologies for Multi-Layer Network Slicing", June 26, 2009
"ORCA/BEN Integration Demo with Stitching of VLANs between BEN and NLR", July 7, 2009
"ORCA/BEN Integration Demo", July 7, 2009, web site

Quarterly Status Reports

ORCABEN: 4Q08 Status Report
ORCABEN: 1Q09 Status Report
ORCABEN: 2Q09 Status Report
ORCABEN: 3Q09 Status Report

Spiral 2 Connectivity

BEN equipment is located per the "BEN GENI Substrate Description", 2008 drawing.
External connectivity to BEN done per Fig 3 of "BEN GENI Substrate Description", 2008 drawing.
BEN node at RENCI has 10 GigE connection to NLR FrameNet on port TenGig 2/2.
BEN has provisioned VLAN IDs 861-870 for use with FrameNet.
BEN node at RENCI uses RENCI production router for connections to commodity Internet, Internet2 and NLR (via NCREN).
BEN IP addresses should be added to this page.
BEN Operations Staff and IT Contact: Chris Heermann RENCI

Related Projects

New Internet Computing Lab (NICL)
Open Resource Control Architecture (ORCA)
BEN: Breakable Experimental Network