Global Lambda Integrated Facility

GLIF Techs get the A for effort

25 March 2014 -- The GLIF Technical Working Group held a meeting on 19-20 March 2014 in conjunction with the 19th GENI Engineering Conference in Atlanta, USA. This was attended by 33 participants from North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, who discussed current GLIF activities, whilst looking ahead at how future research and education networks will be architected.

The GLIF Architecture Task Force led by Inder Monga (ESnet) discussed the increasing interest in multi-layer and SDN-enabled exchanges, and whether GLIF had a role to play in deployment, testing or operations. The issue of whether GLIF should have near or longer term considerations in terms of designing architecture was also discussed, and it was recognised relationship with the NREN CEO Forum Global Network Architecture activity should be clarified.

The Network Services Interface Task Force led by Inder Monga and John MacAuley (ESnet) had been heavily involved in the standardisation of the NSI Connection Services protocol version 2.0 through the Open Grid Forum. The focus was now on developing implementations that supported this, and in particular how authorisation and authentication should be undertaken. ESnet, SURFnet and RNP each presented their different approaches and the issues they had encountered, which provided useful feedback in advance of production deployment later in the year.

The AutoGOLE Task Force presented by John MacAuley reported that dynamic lightpath connections were now possible between 20 domains across the world using NSI-CS v2.0. Authentication and authorisation was being added for TNC 2014, with a complete demonstration including topology exchange slated for GLIF 2014 and SC'14.

The Performance Verification Task Force led by Jerry Sobieski (NORDUnet) had identified several emerging applications that were dependent on service guarantees, which therefore meant it was increasingly imperative to converge on standardised monitoring mechanisms. To this end, it was agreed there should be an activity to standardise on and implement perfSONAR globally.

The Software Defined Networking Architecture Task Force led by Eric Boyd (Internet2) heard about the initiatives being undertaken by ESnet, Internet2 and SURFnet, and discussed how these can be supported in a multi-domain environment. There would be further investigations into how GLIF could provide a multi-network testbed with SDN-enabled GOLEs.

A new area of activity is in network virtualisation, with presentation of the different approaches taken by GÉANT and Internet2. It was felt GLIF could facilitate a standard approach to defining services and requesting resources across testbeds, possibly in conjunction with a global resource request broker.

It was also announced that the GÉANT Open Exchange based at the London Harbour Exchange would become a production service from 1 April 2014. This could provide Layer 2 interconnectivity between GÉANT, ESnet, Internet2, ORIENTplus and UbuntuNet, with termination of the ANA 100G link also being considered.

Finally, it was agreed that the GOLE operator monthly teleconferences should be re-established, and that a new Demonstrations Task Force should be created to identify new and interesting applications and services that could be showcased during the Annual Global LambdaGrid Conferences.

Lars Fischer (NORDUnet) and Eric Boyd (Internet2), the Co-Chairs of the GLIF Technical Working Group, said the meeting demonstrated that a lot of useful work was being undertaken by the GLIF community, but that it was important to turn some of the new ideas into active work plans for the coming year. They also expressed thanks to GENI and the Georgia Tech for hosting the meeting.

The next meeting will be held during the 14th Annual LambdaGrid Workshop (GLIF 2014) in Queenstown, New Zealand on 30 September & 1 October 2014.

About GLIF -- The Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF) is an international virtual organisation of NRENs, consortia and institutions that promotes lambda networking. GLIF provides lambdas internationally as an integrated facility to support data-intensive scientific research, and supports middleware development for lambda networking. It brings together some of the world's premier networking engineers to develop an international infrastructure by identifying equipment, connection requirements, and necessary engineering functions and services. More information is available on the GLIF website at