On the design, performance, and management of virtual networks for grid computing

TitleOn the design, performance, and management of virtual networks for grid computing
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsTsugawa, M
Secondary AuthorsFortes, JAB
Number of Pages153
UniversityUniversity of Florida
CityGainesville, FL
Thesis Typephd
Keywordsarchitecture, cloud, design, distributed, grid, management, network, overlay, performance, virtualization
AbstractABSTRACT: Contemporary distributed systems, exemplified by grid environments, involve resources spanning multiple administrative domains. Existing networking techniques and solutions do not necessarily apply since they are generally designed to be used in enterprise networks – i.e., single administrative domain. The presence of firewalls and network address translation devices compromise the connectivity among resources across different sites, and considerable effort is required from site administrators to offer, when possible, a computing environment for distributed applications. In this scenario, grid administrators need privileged access to core network equipment of every site, and possibly of network providers, in order to manage the "grid networking" - an unrealistic requirement. Even when resource providers agree to release the control of network equipment, heterogeneity in terms of vendor, hardware and firmware make the management and operation of such an environment difficult. This dissertation advocates the use of user-level network virtualization to address the networking problems in grid environments, since such virtualization can be designed to not require changes in the core network infrastructure and it can be easily deployed in regular computers – i.e., desktops, servers, and laptops. To this end, this work (1) describes the design of a virtual network infrastructure identifying and satisfying the grid network needs; (2) thoroughly investigates implementation options and its implications in virtual network performance; and (3) presents a virtual network management architecture that can help both providers and end users in the operation of virtual networks. The results of this research are reflected in the ViNe middleware package implementing a flexible virtual network approach based on the deployment of user-level virtual routers, which are machines loaded with ViNe processing software. ViNe software allows for dynamic run-time configuration, a feature that facilitates the management of virtual networks through the use of tools and middleware that hide the complexity of configuration processes. ViNe software packet routing capacity, in excess of 800 Mbps, has the best user-level virtual network performance levels reported to date. Finally, mechanisms to address networking challenges unique to cloud computing environments are developed and evaluated using an extended version of ViNe, called TinyViNe. TinyViNe enables end users to deploy virtual networks on cloud environments without the need for specialized networking knowledge.