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Routerlab: Research

Several of the scientific projects of our group run experiments in the routerlab. Two examples:


HAIR, the Hierarchical Architecture for Internet Routing addresses the limits of current Internet routing table growth. It better supports mobility, traffic engineering, and multipath routing by separating the locator and identifier elements of the addressing scheme. HAIR places routing elements into hierarchical name-spaces to localize the effects of routing changes and improve routing table scalability. The routerlab enables us to devise an experiment to evaluate the HAIR software-based routing elements, all of which utilize special network packet formats. Virtualized hosts with the the Click modular software router can support these special packets. The routerlab topology management enables simple reconfiguration of the underlying IP network onto which HAIR elements are overlaid. Results from the prototype evaluation show the feasibility of hierarchical routing with mobility utilizing this model of split locator and identifier.

QoE / Virtualization

Providing good Quality of Experience (QoE) for end users remains a challenging problem on the Internet. Especially virtualized networks pose novel challenges, as multiple virtual networks may compete for the same physical resources and the quality of the isolation provided by virtualization platforms varies. Accordingly, we devise a combined experiment on our testbed, confronting multimedia VOIP traffic with bursty, self-similar background traffic as found on the Internet, and routing both over a virtualized substrate based on XEN and OpenFlow with advanced debugging and flow management capabilities. Our results indicate that the advanced troubleshooting and management capabilities in the virtualized setup result in improved QoE, even though the level of isolation provided by the virtualization is limited.

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