wiki:sppReport-1Q10

Version 2 (modified by Vic Thomas, 10 years ago) (diff)

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Internet Scale Overlay Hosting Progress Report 1/1/2010-3/31/2010)

1. Project Activities this Quarter

Transition from Development to Early User Support

In this quarter, we have made the transition from primarily a development mode to a mix of development and support mode for early users. Our primary activity this quarter was preparing for the SPP tutorial that was held at GEC 7. This included making improvements to our slice configuration tools, preparing a user documentation wiki and developing demonstrations and laboratory exercises for use during the tutorial. This required preparing scripts and traffic generation tools that were sufficiently "canned" to allow participants to get some real experience during the one hour we had available for hands-on activities. At the same time, we felt it important to give them a chance to make changes to the experimental configuration so they could get a concrete understanding of the user tools and their effect on the system. To facilitate productive activity and maximize what users learned, we developed a set of worksheets to help guide them through the exercise. These turned out to be extremely important to the success of the hands-on session. Our preparation included several "dry-runs" with Washington University graduate students and staff. These helped us to refine the presentation material, demonstrations and laboratory exercises.

From a technical perspective, the tutorial went very well.

We were able to cover our prepared material in the available time, and while it went quickly, users were generally able to grasp the essentials and get a solid understanding of how the system works and how it enables network experimentation. However, the sign-up process for the tutorial did not get appopriate planning at an early enough stage, and as a result, many of those who were registered for the tutorial did not actually show up. On the other hand, there were a large number of "walk-ins" who we were able to include in the session, allowing us to go ahead with a reduced but still reasonable group. As we plan for the next tutorial at GEC 8, it will be essential that we take steps to ensure this does not happen again. We plan to refine the "sign-up" to distinguish between those who are prepared to commit to attending, and those who are less sure. It will also be important to follow-up with prospective attendees in the week before GEC8 to confirm their planned attendance. This will allow us to free up slots for walk-ins.

GEC 7 Demonstration

In addition to the tutorial, we did a demonstration at GEC7. The demo leveraged the materials from the tutorial session, and gave us a chance to show off the SPPs to a larger group.

SPP Configuration Tools

We made a number of improvements to the SPP configuraton tools in preparation for the tutorial. These were mostly aimed at simplifying the interface for users, and eliminating inconsistencies that had arisen during the development process. This effort has continued following the tutorial, but we are now converging on a coherent and consistent set of user tools with which we can move forward.

User Documentation

We have developed user documentation on a wiki that is now available to users. Work on this is continuing, but we plan to have the wiki essentially complete by the end of the next quarter. At this time, the wiki is not user-editable, but we plan to transition the wiki pages to a dedicated SPP-only wiki that will be editable by users.

Flow Monitoring

The flow monitoring system is now largely complete, in the sense that we are capturing and storing statistics. The data is not yet being stored in the format needed to allow us to use the PlaneLab tools for accessing the data, but we plan to complete that work over the next quarter.

Development of Second Version of Network Processor Datapath Software

We made limited progress on version 2 of the NPE software this quarter. While have still not been able to devote the time needed to complete version 2 of the NPE software. We expect to make more progress in the coming quarter, but this will likely not be completed until later in the year.

Bug Fixes

Tracking down and fixing bugs is a continuing process in a project like this.

There have been no major new issues this quarter, but this continues to occupy a

signficant amount of staff time.

2. Milestones achieved

User web site - completed 3/16/2010
S2.c User documentation wiki - completed 3/16/2010
S2.d Demo at GEC6 - completed 11/17/2009
S2.e Demo at GEC7 - completed 3/16/2010
S2.g First user tutorial at GEC 7 - completed 3/16/2010

3. Deliverables made

Nothing new

4. Project participants

Jon Turner – PI (unsupported)
Patrick Crowley – PI (unsupported)
John Dehart – technical staff (40% support level)
Ken Wong – technical staff (15% support level)
Mike Wilson – graduate student (unsupported)
Mart Haitjema – graduate student (unsupported)
Ritun Patney – graduate student (unsupported)

5. Publications (individual and organizational)

None yet.

6. Outreach activities

User tutorial

7. Collaborations

Working to establish connections between SPP nodes and the GPENI and MAX networks.

Have begun using Plush/Gush tools for configuring SPP nodes.

Have demonstrated experiments that use combination of SPP and PlanetLab nodes.

Have had initial discussions with Jim Griffoen of the University of Kentucky, about using SPPs in support of his Post-Modern Internet Architecture.