SDI TestBeds

SDN/NFV Testbed

SDN Testbed consists of physical and virtual SDN equipment as well as a pan-Ireland 4 node SDN live deployment built at the optical level and using 10GE as its switching layer. This lets researchers build and test new protocols that make large networks work in isolation but with the confidence of working outside of a simulation.

We’ve built a cloud infrastructure that allows researchers and experimenters get processing capacity and build prototypes without incurring huge cloud service bills. We’ve worked with our Data Mining and Social Computing group to bring tools such as Hadoop into the Data Centre.

We’re deploying a software defined radio testbed. If you’ve got an experimenter license for a given radio spectrum, our testbed will allow you to program network devices to trial new wireless protocols. Our deployment is easy to configure and provides a varied environment for testing on our 175 acre campus (complete with flat pitches, hills, sloped inclines and small woods). This is connected with fibre back to our data centre where you can use the cloud or big data components to build applications or analyse data.

The SDN/NFV platform provides testing, monitoring, control and virtualisation resources to enable the conformance, performance, interoperability and proof of concept testing of new and existing SDN and NFV technologies. In addition it leverages the orchestration features of the cloud computing platform for rapid prototyping and deployment.

The size of the testbed and the users connected to it, make it possible to run tests that can evaluate scalability aspects which can be difficult if not possible to model and/or identify through simulations of models and algorithms. This testbed allows for evaluations of aspects of interoperability which is a key feature for systems that are to cope with heterogeneity and the challenges to bridge systems across domain boundaries.

SDN: Leaf / Spine Network (Arista)

~300 10GE ports across 3 leaf’s
160Gbps east / west between leaf’s
Dual 10GE internet connections
Using OpenStack Neutron to configure the network.

IaaS/PaaS: OpenStack / VMWare

~1,000 process threads, 3TB RAM

SDS: ScaleIO, Ceph and EMC SAN for Storage

512TB Total Capacity
Using OpenStack Cinder & Swift to configure the storage.


Orchestration (MaaS, Ansible, Fuel)
Monitoring (Nagios and CollectD)
Common Toolset (Python, Ansible, GitLab) and Process (DevOps/Agile)

SDN Testbed Infrastructure

4 Node national Testbed:
(Cork, Dublin x 2, Waterford)
¥ 10 GE wavelengths
¥ Shortest link ~10km
¥ 2 x links between 120 – 160km
¥ Longest link ~750km
¥ ~2-3 ms based on speed of light
¥ Arista processing time < 4μs
Compute, storage and network devices in Cork, Dublin and Waterford.

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