GÉANT, Mantychore to enable fast virtual infrastructure creation across Europe

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Researchers will find it easier to create their own virtualised networks, underpinning Cloud and Grid computing projects and speeding up international collaboration, thanks to new results obtained through the partnership between the pan-European GÉANT project and the EU-funded Mantychore project.

The Mantychore project has developed an open source framework (OpenNaaS) to provide the European virtual research community with the ability to create IP Networks as a Service (NaaS) over the infrastructures of European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs). This framework will also build a developers community for the creation of new and innovative services over OpenNaaS.
GÉANT’s new Bandwidth on Demand (BoD) service is now integrated with OpenNaaS in order to allow users to create and control their own and customised virtual networks across multiple domains. This addresses the needs of users in fields such as cloud, e-Health, media, and Grid Computing, enabling them to quickly access the network resources they need under a “pay as you grow” model. Moreover, OpenNaaS will offer the capability to take into consideration Green IT parameters when building the virtual infrastructures
The multi-domain service for automatic bandwidth provisioning, BoD enables NRENs to quickly provision dedicated high speed dynamic circuits between different network points within the GÉANT Service Area (GSA) across Europe.
“Experimental projects require increasing flexibility when they are creating Cloud and Grid-based infrastructures and this partnership between the GÉANT and Mantychore projects will make it easier and faster to create the virtualised environments that they need,” said Tangui Coulouarn, product manager for GÉANT Bandwidth on Demand. “This collaboration demonstrates how GÉANT is working closely with the European research ecosystem to provide the tools and innovation for users to move forward in their research.”
One of the first users of the combined solution is the GreenStar Network (GSN) project, which is researching new models for reducing greenhouse gas emissions within information and communication technologies (ICT). It has built a network of four international nodes within European datacentres, powered solely by renewable energy. Monitoring and control software, provided by Mantychore, distributes data processing and traffic loads in real time between these nodes through GÉANT Bandwidth on Demand, using a Cloud-based infrastructure to ensure the maximum amount of green energy is used at all times.
The collaboration between Mantychore and the GSN (Green Star Network) project, which is researching new models for reducing greenhouse gas emissions within information and communication technologies (ICT), has facilitated the development of functionalities in OpenNaaS to ensure that the maximum amount of green energy is used when creating Cloud network-based infrastructures. Mantychore has also built a test network with nodes connected to the Canada GSN network, powered solely by renewable energy, including a node on Iceland.
“The provisioning of virtual infrastructures, together with an open source framework (OpenNaaS) that allows the community to extend and customize the framework to their needs and services, will provide major benefits and represent a major uptake to the current demands from the virtual research communities and the telecom industry. It is a step forward towards the convergence of ICT,” said Sergi Figuerola, Mantychore project coordinator. “Mantychore, through OpenNaaS, aims to include GÉANT Bandwidth on Demand as an integral part of our project, making it simpler and faster to create virtual networks across Europe.”
Other Mantychore users include the University of Essex (projects for advanced high quality media services and marketplace modelling), Trinity College Dublin (grid and cloud infrastructure), UNI-C (who collaborates with the Danish Health Data Network), NORDUnet (OpenNaaS – AutoBAHN interoperability) and Irish NREN HEAnet (Virtual CPE).
In a virtual network, where the physical infrastructure is already in place, provisioning time can slow performance. Mantychore’s OpenNaaS software, led by the i2CAT Foundation, overcomes this by provisioning a complete, virtual network in two steps. First, it creates (and configures) logical routers in the locations chosen by the user; and secondly, it calls GÉANT Bandwidth on Demand to configure the layer 2 connections between them across multiple domains. OpenNaaS keeps a memory of the BoD endpoints that connect its infrastructure, and when a virtual link is needed, calls BoD to set it up.