Why do testbeds need the generic SFA Wrapper?

The goal of the Slice-based Facility Architecture or SFA is to provide a minimal interface, a narrow waist that enables testbeds of different technlogies and/or belonging to different administrative domains to federate without losing control of their resources. This will allow researchers to combine all available resources and run advanced networking experiments of significant scale and diversity.

To achieve this objective SFA defines a distributed and secure API that allows researchers affiliated with an administrative domain belonging to a federation to browse all the available resources and allocate those required to perform a specific experiment. Note that SFA is more of a specification of a standard rather than a specific implemetation and actually there are different versions of it today tailored to address the need of different technologies (PlanetLab, ProtoGENI, OpenFlow).

Within our community we have created a Generic SFA Wrapper that stems from few reference implementations (PLC, PLE, ProtoGENI etc.). That is, the proposed SFA Wrapper is able to be implemented in two independent modules: 1) a generic SFA implementation which will be the same for all technologies and 2) a testbed-specific driver, which will be responsible for implementing the local resource browsing and allocation functionality.

This work in progress will soon allow a variety of heterogeneous testbeds with which we are cooperating in the context of several European projects to plug their resources into the global SFA federation and enable them to both attract external users and allow their internal users to access a big list of heterogeneous resources.

This Generic SFA Wrapper is being developed by Thierry Parmentelat of INRIA and is available online here.