Project Number


Project Title

A Service Access Layer for GENI-based Distributed Services
a.k.a. SCAFFOLD, Serval

Technical Contacts

PI: Michael Freedman, Princeton University
Jennifer Rexford, Princeton University
Erik Nordstrom

Participating Organizations

Department of Computer Science
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ

GPO Liaison System Engineer

Vic Thomas


Historically, Internet services provide clients with access to the resources of a particular host. However, today's services are no longer defined by a single host or confined to a fixed location. Yet, the network architecture continues to impose an unfortunate coupling between hosts and services by binding connections to topology-dependent addresses---complicating everything from server replication, load balancing, and virtual-machine migration, to client mobility and multi-homing.

In this project, we propose a new service access layer that redefines the interaction between the network and transport layers. This layer provides the "thin waist" needed to enable direct communication on topology-independent service names, decouple service connections from network identifiers, directly support multi-homing and mobility, and enhance the network's awareness of service availability.

We investigate Serval, a complete architecture built around this new layering that handles server replication, network dynamics, and diverse service discovery techniques, while ensuring scalability, security, and the efficient handling of churn. By running squarely above the network layer, Serval is backwards compatible with today's IP networks.

Serval is an experiment to be deployed on top of GENI aggregates, as well as provide a platform for future GENI experimenters to more easily deploy mobile and distributed services.

Current Capabilities


Spiral 4

Project Technical Documents

Project web page at Princeton.

Description of a March 2010 SCAFFOLD demonstration.
SCAFFOLD poster at GEC7.
SCAFFOLD presentation (June '10).
2011 paper on Scaffold/TRODS


Contact PI for software.

Quarterly Status Reports

4Q 2011
Post-GEC10 Report
1Q 2010

Spiral 2 Connectivity

Related Projects

Last modified 12 years ago Last modified on 03/13/12 07:48:12

Attachments (5)