Notes from Feb 2014 maintenance

This post is intended to describe changes in topology and behavior after shifting BBN (xo-bbn) , UH (xo-uh) and UFL (xo-ufl) racks from NLR to Internet2 AL2S as well as a number of software fixes.

The Highlights

  • Please visit the updated ExoGENI topology diagram to see how racks are connected to each other:
  • Added initial poorly tested support for ‘speaks-for’ GENI credentials in GENI AM API wrapper deployed in ExoSM only for now.
  • Point-to-point and inter-rack multi-point stitching continues to be supported
    • A number of bug-fixes to improve the stability, see some caveats in the details below
    • Inter-rack multi-point stitching only available via ORCA native API/Flukes tool
  • An updated version of Flukes. Please see the Release Notes in Flukes for more information
    • Optional support for GENI Portal/Slice Authority – registers your slices with the GENI Portal
    • Support for the coloring extension (see details below)
  • An updated version of NDL-to-RSpec converter which includes the following fixes
    • Links now have proper properties (i.e. bandwidth) in manifests
    • Bug in inter-domain manifests with duplicate interface names fixed
    • Per interface VLAN ranges should be properly advertised in stitching extension RSpec
    • Support for coloring extension RSpec (see details below) introduced
  • Two new racks will be visible in ExoSM advertisements and in Flukes: XO-OSF and XO-SL.
    • OSF, located at Oakland Scientific Facility, Oakland, CA (xo-osf)
    • SL, located at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL (xo-sl)
  • Inter-rack connectivity has the following important caveats:
    • Currently it is not possible to stitch UFL and FIU directly to each other due to limitations of AL2S service. It is possible to have them as two branches of a multi-point connection. We are working on the solution to the point-to-point issue.
    • Connectivity to NICTA is experiencing problems due to what we think are misconfigured VLANs in TransPacWave. If your slice gets tags 4003 and 4005 going to NICTA, connectivity is not assured. Simply try to create a new slice, leaving the broken slice in place. Then delete the broken slice.
    • Connectivity to SL has not been properly plumbed in places, so does not work for the moment.
      • This issue has been resolved as of 03/12/14
    • Connectivity to UFL appears to be broken through FLR across all available VLANs. We are working to resolve this issue.
      • This issue has been resolved as of 02/20/2014

The details – Multi-point topology embedding and templates

When using post-boot script templates with multi-point connections, the following rule needs to be observed:

  • When embedding an intra-rack topology (slice local to a single rack) with a broadcast link, to get to the IP address of the node on the broadcast link use the  link name, e.g. “VLAN0”
  • When embedding an inter-rack topology (slice across multiple racks) with a broadcast link, to get to the IP address of the node on the broadcast link use the link name concatenated with the node name, e.g. “Node0-VLAN0”

This is a temporary limitation that will be removed in the near future.

Additionally, there are the following limitations to the topology embedding engine

  • it does not properly deal with slices that combine inter-rack multi-point connections with inter-rack point-to-point connections going across BEN (to xo-rci, for example).
  • it does not properly deal with slices that have two stitch ports on the same port URL, but different VLAN tags in the same slice

We expect to be able to remedy these soon, for now please avoid such requests.

The details – Application Coloring ontology and coloring RSpec Extension

This ontology was designed to allow attaching general application-specific attributes to slivers (nodes and links) and create labelled directed dependencies between them.
These are NOT read by the control framework, but, rather, transparently passed through from request to manifest and allow application-level annotation of the request. It is important to understand that the processing of the elements of this schema is left to the application creating requests and processing resulting  manifests.

This ontology (see is modeled after property graphs with multiple colors (or labels) associated with each node, link and color dependency. Each color or color dependency can have multiple properties associated with it, as may be needed by the applications running in the slice:

– any number of key-value pairs
– a blob of text
– a blob of XML

The new version of Flukes supports adding color-labeled properties to nodes and links and the creation of colored dependencies between elements of the slice, also with properties.

There is a matching RSpec coloring extension schema defined here:

The initial application of this extension is to allow GEMINI and GIMI to specify measurement roles of the slivers in the slice in RSpec. However, it was designed to be general to allow specifying other relationships and attributes without additional special-case effort for the aggregates to support them.


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