This event is endorsed
and organized by

6th International Conference on Mobile Networks and Management

September 22–24, 2014 | Wuerzburg, Germany

SDN Experimentation Facilities and Tools

Organized by
Kostas Pentikousis*, Umar Toseef*, Philip Wette^, and Martin Dräxler^

*EICT GmbH                   ^University of Paderborn


The SDN tutorial on Monday will contain some hands-on parts where the attendants will get experience in emulating networks. For these hands-on parts the attendants will need to run two virtual machines on their notebook.
An appliance containing the machines can be downloaded from [1]. If you plan to attend the tutorial, please download and import the appliance into your favorite VM player prior to the tutorial. We tested the appliance to work with the newest version of VirtualBox [2]. If you have any questions regarding the VMs please contact Philip Wette ([email protected])


Part A: SDN Experimentation Facilities

Duration: 75 min

In network R&D, transforming a research idea into a deployed solution traditionally requires years. In response to this conundrum, several experimental facilities were established aiming to foster large-scale experiments in near real-world network environments. Experimental facilities employ virtualization and enable computational and network resource sharing over the same physical topology. The first part of the tutorial will set the ground regarding available SDN experimental facilities in Europe and worldwide. In particular, we will discuss how software-defined networking technologies form the foundation for the OFELIA and GENI experimental facilities. After a short dive into operational essentials, we will present how such experimental facilities can be enhanced with a larger variety of network devices. Specifically, the tutorial will focus on the innovations brought about by the FP7 ALIEN and FELIX projects which are currently extending the capabilities of a) the open-source software available for creating new SDN experimental facilities, b) current deployment trends, and c) opportunities to enhance the software available and enlarge the experimental facility footprint across Europe and the world. In this context, SDN testbed federation will also be discussed, followed by a Q&A with the tutorial participants.

Part B: SDN Experimentation Tools

Duration: 75 min

Developing new SDN ideas requires deploying a large number of switches and hosts in order to implement a proper testbed. Using physical devices is costly and cumbersome. Thus, the second part of the tutorial focuses on the usage of network emulators. Network emulators are simple to use and provide a good level of physical abstraction. We will first introduce Mininet, which is currently the most popular SDN emulator, and give hands-on examples how Mininet can be used to emulate a network controlled by an SDN controller. To use network emulation to evaluate large-scale networking ideas, we show MaxiNet – a distributed Mininet version we developed. MaxiNet is able to automatically interconnect multiple instances of Mininet and provides a transparent API. Using that API, the participants will get practical experience on how to create very large-scale network experiments. Finally, we present DCT2Gen, a traffic generator for data center networks. DCT2Gen is able to generate TCP traffic complying with predefined Layer 2 properties and it is the first traffic generator capable of producing realistic traffic for data centers. With this toolset, the participants will be able to conduct highly realistic SDN experiments at reasonable time and effort.


The key objective of this tutorial is to equip all participants with the necessary understanding regarding SDN development, experimentation and evaluation so that they can start using the aforementioned experimental facilities and tools on their own.

Tutorial Organizers Biographies

Kostas Pentikousis is the Head of IT Infrastructure at EICT GmbH. Kostas received his Ph.D. in computer science from Stony Brook University in 2004. His research focuses primarily on Internet protocols and network architecture with contributions ranging from system design and implementation to performance evaluation. Dr. Pentikousis is currently the lead guest editor of the IEEE Communications Magazine feature topic on Network and Service Virtualization and guest editor for the feature topic on 5G Networks: End-to-end Architecture and Infrastructure.

Philip Wette is a research associate at the Computer Networks Group, University of Paderborn (Germany). He received his Masters degree in Computer Science in 2011 from the same university. His research interests include the reconfiguration of network topologies by overlay networks and Software Defined Networking. Currently, he is working on SDN in data centers and the emulation of realistic traffic in such networks.

Martin Dräxler is a research associate at the Computer Networks Group, University of Paderborn (Germany). He received his Masters degree in Computer Science in 2011 from the same university. His reasearch focuses on wireless access and backhaul networks, and the application of SDN/NFV in this context. Martin is currently involved in the EU FP7 project CROWD.

Umar Toseef is a research staff member at EICT GmbH. His areas of interest include LTE (Long Term Evolution) system level studies, network bandwidth dimensioning, heterogeneous wireless networks, and SDN. He received his PhD degree with Honors in 2013 from University of Bremen. His contributions to research literature include several scholarly articles and patents.