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Call for participation for possible IRTF Network Virtualization Research Group

2008-03-08 08:24:19

This might interesting for the l1/l2/l3 vpn and vrrp people.

You may have received the below email some days ago. The feedback to this email 
was very positive, i.e., there has been feedback from interested researchers in 
the US, Canada, Asia, and Europe.   

If you are interested you can
- visit this web site and
- subscribe to the discussion mailing list at 

The mailing list's address is nvrg(_at_)listserv(_dot_)gwdg(_dot_)de

The meeting at the IETF (BAR BOF style in IETF speak) is on 
    WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2008 
    1510-1700 Afternoon Session II and beyond
    Meeting room: to be announced.

The agenda will be posted on the web site.



Several research initiatives in the area of "Future Internet" have recently 
started in the US, Europe, and Asia. Amongst them are, for instance, GENI/FIND 
[1], 4WARD [2], Trilogy [3], and NICT's New Generation Network projects [4]. 
All these efforts possible lead to an internetworking architecture with the 
support of network virtualization that significantly provides more flexible 
features than the current Internet. 

Network virtualization follows the same principle as any known computer 
virtualization technology, such as virtual memory, virtual hard disk, virtual 
screens, etc. It is always an abstraction from a real resource, hiding the 
underlying complexity (cf. [5]). But even if virtualization is an integral part 
of today's computing technology (which is close to communication technology), 
it is still lacking a counterpart in the Internet architecture. Current 
proposals discuss possible virtualization techniques (e.g. [7]) on top the 
today's Internet (also past techniques such as MBONE and related), or more 
general on a substrate [6]. The clean slate approach [9] also considers network 
virtualization as an integral part of the future Internet. 

However, all of these activities are bound to each local community, but there 
is no larger, international discussion (apart from some smaller meetings, e.g., 
 between Ambient Network and GENI/FIND [10].  All of currently discussed ideas 
are somewhat heading towards different directions (especially different between 
academia and industry research). Thus it would be beneficial to have a venue 
for discussing ideas w.r.t. network virtualization as a new means for the 
Internet today, as transition path to new technologies, or as integral part of 
the future Internet would be beneficial. Researchers from US, Europe, and Asia 
could discuss what exactly network virtualization could bring as benefit, how 
it is impacting the Internet, and what might be the impact to the Internet 

Therefore, I have in mind a venue where researchers can discuss their ideas 
(w/o considering standardization/interfaces definitions yet) and try to shape a 
way forward for future Internet activities in this field. The Internet Research 
Task Force (IRTF) can be good place to give this a home. 

The intention of this email is to first gather community feedback about whether 
researchers do find this idea of creating an IRTF research group (RG) appealing 
enough and have energy enough to actively participate in such a group. 

The envisioned main goals of such a RG in the area of network virtualization 
can be:
- a discussion venue without standardization or any other limiting boundaries
- bringing together the right people from US, Asia and Europe

Open issues to be addressed by this RG are, but not limited to:
- impact of network virtualization to the Internet architecture as such, 
Internet devices (routers and hosts), and applications running in the Internet;
- can network virtualization solve the ossification issue (cf. [6] of the 
Internet or is it just shifting problems from one place to another;
- are overlays one possible answer to network virtualization;
- are the current testbed initiatives (e.g., PlanetLab, OneLab, etc) a first 
answer to network virtualization?

Interested people are requested to reply to this email and if possible to meet 
at the upcoming IETF meeting (IETF#71) in Philadelphia to discuss further 
steps. A possible meeting slot during the IETF meeting would be Wednesday after 
the IETF Operations and Administration Plenary. However, I'm open for 


[1]   GENI project web page,
[2]   4ward project page,
[3]   EU FP7 IST Trilogy project,
[4]   NICT's NWGN projects,
[5]     L. Peterson, S. Shenker and J. Turner, Overcoming the Internet Impasse 
through Virtualization, Hotnets 2004.
[6]     J. Turner and D. Taylor, Diversifying the Internet, Proceedings of 
Globecom 2005.
[7]     J. Touch, Y. Wang, L. Eggert, , and G. Finn, A Virtual Internet 
Architecture, ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Future Directions in Network 
Architecture, 2003. Karlsruhe, Germany.
[8]     Larry Peterson, Tom Anderson, Dan Blumenthal, Dean Casey, David Clark, 
Deborah Estrin, Joe Evans, Dipankar Raychaudhuri, Mike Reiter, Jennifer 
Rexford, Scott Shenker, and John Wroclawski, "GENI design principles," in IEEE 
Computer, September 2006
[9]  Clean slate project, [10]

With kind regards,

  Martin Stiemerling

NEC Laboratories Europe  & University of Goettingen

stiemerling(_at_)nw(_dot_)neclab(_dot_)eu   <== NEW ADDRESS
NEC Laboratories Europe - Network Research Division NEC Europe Limited | 
Registered Office: NEC House, 1 Victoria Road, London W3 6BL | Registered in 
England 2832014 
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