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ProtoGENI/PGAugmentation/PGTools Project Status Reports

Period: GEC9 - GEC10

Note: This is a "comprehensive" report for the three GENI subcontracts held by the University of Utah. For concrete accomplishments, milestones, etc. I have marked major items in this report with P (for ProtoGENI), A, (for PGAugmentation), or T (for PGTools) to make it clear which activities were conducted under which subcontract.

I. Major accomplishments

A. Milestones achieved

T PGTools: S3.a: User guide for map interface

Created a new guide for the Map interface to ProtoGENI (and other GENI) resources, which can be found at: The map interface itself has been greatly improved (more on this below), and is now on the front page of

T PGTools: S3.b: Prepare tools for export to other Emulab sites

The Emulab frontend to ProtoGENI has been cleaned up an generalized, so that other Emulab sites participating in ProtoGENI can enable it for their users. The University of Kentucky has been the first external site to test this feature.

Though not originally part of this milestone, we have also made changes to the map client to make it easier to host it on sites other than .

T PGTools: S3.c: Read-Only mode for map interface

There is now a "read only mode" for the map interface, which gives anyone an interactive veiw of GENI resources, without the need for an account at any GENI aggregate. This uses a set of advertisement RSpecs that are hosted on the ProtoGENI webserver, and which are updated nightly from all participating aggregates.

The map interface is able to run complete in "read only" mode, start read-only but include a "log in" button, or to present the user with a selection screen when it starts at to whether they want to run in authenticated or read-only mode.

We have made many more improvements to our map interface than anticipated when we set the milestones; see below for more details.

P ProtoGENI.S2.h: Deploy 3 additional backbone network nodes

Working with HP and Internet, we deployed 3 more backbone sites in Los Angeles, Houston, and Atlanta. These are connected to each other and the previously existing sites at Layer 2, and are available for experimenters to use.

P ProtoGENI.S3.a: Improved experimenter support

We have significantly re-worked the status codes returned by the ProtoGENI API in order to improve the user experience: users now have much more information about why calls they make may have failed (previously, they usually had to ask the ProtoGENI administrators for this information).

P ProtoGENI: S3.b: Demonstration and Outreach at GEC10

We presented our map interface in the GEC demo session and status reports sessions, showing both ProtoGENI and PlanetLab resources.

We also made presentation materials that we had used for tutorials at other GECs to groups doing tutorials at GEC10. We did not produce new materials, as these groups founding the existing materials to be sufficient.

A PGINTEGRN: S3.a: API for AM<->AM coordination during stitching

We described an API for stitching between aggregates; a description of our design can be found here:

We also participated in extensive discussions regarding an eventual GENI-wide stitching API.

A PGINTEGRN: S3.b: Implement AM <-> AM coordination API

We implemented the API described above, and demonstrated it at GEC10, to create Layer 2 connections from the University of Utah Emulab site to the University of Kentucky and the University of Wisconsin.

B. Deliverables made

  • Software releases: P, T, A We have continued to make all software that we develop

available to the public via our git repository at .

  • Documentation: P, A, T in addition to the documentation listed above, we have documented many of our APIs, data structures, and design decisions at
  • Example code and RSpecs: A, T In addition to the main source snapshots and documentation listed above, we have released sample code, RSpecs, NS files, and more on

II. Description of work performed during last quarter

A. Activities and findings

We made significant improvements this quarter to our flash map-based interface (which we will be renaming to "Flack", since 'flash map-based interface' is not a very catchy name. Many of these improvements are above and beyond the ones that were listed in our milestones. In particular, we re-worked its communication with aggregate managers, and added PlanetLab support.

Previously, the interface used the browser's native https support to contact aggregate managers, slice authorities, etc. This had a number of drawback, chief among them the fact that excessive user work was required to add CA certificates and user certificates to their browser. We have replaced the browser's connection mechanisms with Forge, and open-source SSL library implemented in Javascript and Flash. This enables us to load (without user intervention) the same CA bundle used by the ProtoGENI sites, and allows us to automatically fetch user certificates for users who have an Emulab account. The result is a much smoother user experience.

The map interface had also previously used the ProtoGENI API to contact aggregates; we added support for the new GENI AM API, so that it can contact non-ProtoGENI aggregates. We verified that this work with PlanetLab aggregates. Since there is not yet a standard GENI RSpec (though it appears that one is coming), we had to add support for the PlanetLab RSpec to the interface. This, along with the AM API, allows us to display PlanetLab resources, and create slivers on them. As more aggregates implement the standard APIs and a common RSpec is implemented, this will put more and more of GENI "on the map."

We spend a large amount of time during this period contributing to very useful discussions with GPO personnel, representatives from other CFs, and other GENI community members, regarding GENI issues of GENI-wide importance. These culminated in four sessions at GEC10, regarding identity, authorization, stitching, and RSpecs. The proposals for these four areas, all of which we provided feedback on, were accepted.

We also did a significant amount of work on ProtoGENI under funding directly from the NSF. That work will be detailed in our NSF annual report rather than this report.

B. Project participants

The following personnel from Utah worked on these projects:

  • Robert Ricci (Research Assistant Professor)
  • Leigh Stoller (Research Staff)
  • Jon Duerig (Research Staff)
  • Gary Wong (Research Staff)
  • Dan Reading (System Administrator)
  • Matt Strum (Undergraduate Student)

Others participated in ProtoGENI under direct funding from NSF.

C. Publications (individual and organizational)

No publications were funded by these projects during this time period.

D. Outreach activities

  • We have been in contact with groups in Korea (KISTI), Taiwan (TWISC), and China (Tsinghua U.) which are not currently part of GENI, but which are interested in joining the ProtoGENI federation

E. Collaborations

We have worked extensively with other projects, both within our cluster and with other clusters as well. A significant amount of our work, particularly for the PGAugmentation contract, has involved coordinating with cluster members, projects outside of the cluster, and users.

Interaction within the cluster has taken place in the following ways:

  • Bi-weekly cluster conference calls, which we lead with the help of our GPO system engineer, Vic Thomas
  • The and mailing lists, which are used for cluster-wide coordination and development discussions
  • Cluster meetings at GECs
  • Occasional email exchanges and phone calls with cluster members

F. Other Contributions

  • Robert Ricci is currently served as co-chair of the Control Framework Working Group, up until GEC10 when the WGs were dissolved

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