SDN/NFV Paradigm: Where the Industry meets the Academia

After 7 months, Service Engineering and SWITCH are back with the regular Swiss SDN workshops, this time held on 16th of June at the ZHAW premises in Winterthur. For the 6th time, the Software Defined Networking (SDN) community from Switzerland and abroad (represented by the industry and the academia), embarked on a joint SDN-NFV full-day journey to discuss SDN, present the best practices and prototypes and share the know-how and some demonstrations of their recent research activities. As a novelty this time, the SDN workshop/meetup was collocated with the Open Cloud Day, allowing for broader attendance from participants in both events. Regular attendees and new fellows could be spot on site engaged in interesting discussions. You can find the through report of the event here from our collaborator SWITCH and i leave you below the complete list of the SDN track. The complete presentations repository could be found here. Enjoy and see you in the next events!

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Robotic Service Management with Roboreg

roboreg-busyWe all know this tedious situation: Plenty of mobile robots around us, and we’d just like to use one of them for a specific task, but we don’t know which one we should take, as they’re all regularly busy on their own. Perhaps this is not a likely scenario right now, but it will be in five or six years from now and it will require novel approaches of how we manage their functionality in terms of services they offer. The Cloud Robotics research initiative is thus looking into robotic device management not so much from a hardware perspective but more from an angle of assessing which robotic resources can be used to deploy or run services and value-added applications on single robots, fleets of robots, or hybrid cloud/fleet constellations. With Roboreg, a first tangible robot-specific registry concept has been realised. The tool will be explained in this blog post.

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Highlights – Open Cloud Day 2016

Last week on 16th June, we held our 5th Open Cloud Day. It took place this year at our campus (ZHAW Winterthur). We co-located another event of ours with the Open Cloud Day, the SDN Workshop.

Open Cloud Day is a joint activity, organised annually by ch/open/ and our research group, Service Engineering. The SDN workshop, a biannual event, focussing on the Software Defined Networking topic in cloud computing, is a joint activity between SWITCH and us.

The one day event hosted about 130 people, ran in 3 separate tracks; main, SDN and workshops, and covered a vast area of cloud topics. PaaS undeniably was the most discussed topic where some speakers took a provocative stance and others towards a positive and “game-changer” aptitude. Continue reading

A Web-based user interface for Kubernetes

This blog post details my project work carried out at the SPLab as an IMS intern. The IMS (Informatikmittelschule) is a type of school for young students (16-20 years old) who aspire to become developers with a business focus. Every IMS student in Switzerland has to participate in an internship in their last year of study.

The Service Engineering research group at InIT hosts every year one or more IMS students from the local schools. Local students are required to finish their apprenticeship with a final exam. The exam, also known as the IPA (Individuelle praktische Arbeit), requires:

  • Programming an application or a part of it
  • Documenting the process of the project
  • Presentation about the process and the result

Since the beginning of my internship, I started working in the CNA-Team (Cloud-Native Applications initiative). I was working mainly with with the following technologies: CoreOS, Fleet, Docker and Kubernetes. We ran our virtual machine clusters on AWS, for which the team has received a research grant from Amazon.

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Walk-through: Importing virtual machine images into EC2

The Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) offered by AWS as public commercial service has been one of the first and probably the seminal service for the research on cloud applications and infrastructure. From an application perspective, hosting in EC2 means wrapping the application into one of the provided virtual machine (VM) images and instantiating it in sufficient numbers (e.g. with autoscaling). Ultimately, for custom applications, it also possible to import custom VM images. This involves creating the machine image, testing it on a local hypervisor (KVM, Xen, VirtualBox, …) or in a local cloud stack (OpenStack, CloudStack, OpenNebula, …), then copying the image into the Simple Storage Service (S3) (in a reliable manner), initiating the import process, and waiting for the VM image called Amazon Machine Image (AMI) to become available. This import process is not well-documented and regularly causes high effort with application providers. Hence, this blog post offers a detailed walk-through and points out common pitfalls.

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Release of Netflogi – a Graphical Interface for Netfloc

In the past year i was working on a graphical interface for Netfloc – the SDK for SDN developed in the SDN initiative. Just to remind you, the aim of Netflogi is to: (1) make the SDK itself easy to use and (2) expose the Netfloc APIs and functional features to the network application developers and datacenter service providers.

With the initial version of Netflogi, the user was able to create a Service Function Chain only by using Neutron port IDs. This was done by choosing the number and the order of the Neutron ports used in the Chain. The current version of Netflogi allows to create Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) and a Service Chain using those VNFs. This blog post describes the updated functionalities of Netflogi that take part of the development work i did as part of my final exam, called IPA in Switzerland.

The novel functionality added in Netflogi is the VNF management (create & delete). Creating VNF includes choosing a name, a description of the functionality and assigning ingress and egress ports. Once the VNF is successfully created, it appears automatically in the list of the existing VNFs. The VNFs can be used in different services offered by Netfloc. Currently Service Function Chaining is fully implemented and can be done by combining one or more VNFs. The VNFs can be deleted, as well as the Service Chains. Help page and messaging system for the performed actions is also included in this version.

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