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The Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) is a suite of experimental network research infrastructure now being planned and prototyped. GENI prototyping is sponsored by the National Science Foundation to support experimental research in network science and engineering.

As envisioned in these community plans, this suite will support a wide range of network science and engineering experiments such as new protocols and data dissemination techniques running over a substantial fiber-optic infrastructure with next-generation optical switches, novel high-speed routers, city-wide experimental urban radio networks, high-end computational clusters, and sensor grids. All infrastructure are envisioned to be shared among a large number of individual, simultaneous experiments with extensive instrumentation that makes it easy to collect, analyze, and share real measurements.

Core concepts for a GENI infrastructure suite have been established:

·         Programmability – researchers may download software into GENI-compatible nodes to control how those nodes behave;

·         Virtualization and Other Forms of Resource Sharing – whenever feasible, nodes implement virtual machines, which allow multiple researchers to simultaneously share the infrastructure; and each experiment runs within its own, isolated slice created end-to-end across the experiment’s GENI resources;

·         Federation – different parts of the GENI suite are owned and/or operated by different organizations, and the NSF portion of the GENI suite forms only a part of the overall “ecosystem”; and

·         Slice-based Experimentation – GENI experiments will be an interconnected set of reserved resources on platforms in diverse locations.  Researchers will remotely discover, reserve, configure, program, debug, operate, manage, and teardown distributed systems established across parts of the GENI suite.



GENI System Overview

Major Entities and their Relationships

Figure  2-1 presents a block diagram of the GENI system covering the major entities within the overall system.  Optional (but desirable) parts are shown “grayed-out.”  See the GENI System Overview document at http://www.geni.net/docs/GENISysOvrvw092908.pdf  for more details.


Figure 2-1. GENI System Diagram.

Federated Suites

Figure  2-2 provides a system diagram illustrating federation between one GENI suite and another. As a hypothetical example, it depicts federation between a US-based GENI suite and a compatible suite in the European Union (EU).

Figure 2-2. System Diagram with Federated Infrastructure Suites.