Selected Papers - ISBN 978-90-77559-24-6

TNC2014 - Networking with the World


Networking with the World

The 30th TERENA Networking Conference was hosted by HEAnet, Ireland's national education and research network in the beautiful and bustling city of Dublin from 19-22 May 2014. The conference provided an opportunity for researchers, operators and suppliers of research and education networks in Europe and beyond to meet, present and discuss their latest results and requirements in an ideal environment for promoting collaboration.

This year's conference theme was "Networking with the World". More than ever, competition for resources, the evolution and sophistication of network technologies, applications, service providers and user communities are requiring national research and education network (NREN) organisations to work with the outside world. As networks continue to grow in importance, opportunities are created in all aspects of today’s society, impacting the commercial world, science and the arts as well as health, education and government.

The summaries of the conference and of the selected papers is provided by the Chair of the TNC2014 Programme Committee, Erik Huizer.

Conference summary

The core theme "Networking with the World" encompasses two fundamental concepts: the importance of "networking and networks", and striving for improvement on that front, as well as "the World", and the importance of collaboration outside the academic environment.

The programme committee adopted several ideas from previous conferences in the organisation of TNC2014, e.g. the lightning talks and BoFs (Birds of a Feather meetings) as a way of maximising the flow and exchange of information between participants.

HEAnet did an incredible job as a local organiser, including providing dry weather on the Gala evening. Many thanks to them for their hospitality.

The tone of the conference was set during the opening introductions by professor Mark Keane, chair of Computer Science at University College Dublin, who pointed out the importance of NRENs, but at the same time warned us to take heed of users and of developments in the outside world.

The opening keynote from Barend Mons gave a terrific insight into the challenges NRENs will be faced with as researchers are increasingly using bigger data sets for their research.

One of the key themes of the conference was how NRENs could best organise themselves internationally to achieve the most impact for their users. This was certainly highlighted in the panel discussion with CEOs titled: Facing challenges: the European NREN landscape.
The world of NRENs seems to be in a turmoil that is even stronger than usual; global developments such as the financial crisis, electronic surveillance by governments, privacy issues, security issues and discussions around Internet governance have to be dealt with while at the same time customers (students, teachers, researchers) are getting more and more demanding in terms of trust, availability, ease of use, bandwidth and latency. How do NRENs all over the world, but particularly in Europe, deal with this? How do they organise themselves to face these challenges? And what is the role of this mysterious club called the CEO Forum? These were all questions heavily debated during the conference.

The streams of these sessions are available via the conference website:

Around the formal conference sessions were a host of interesting demonstrations and poster sessions. Developments around the application of SDN (Software-Defined Networking), demonstrating for example bandwidth-on-demand-like features, were especially noticeable.

Every TNC seems to reach new levels of participation and relevance in the changing world of big data, cloud computing and ever-increasing levels of interconnectedness.
The closing session gave an entertaining and artful look at what data can do when converted into graphics and into music. A fitting end to a wonderful conference.

Thanks to the enthusiasm of the participants, presenters and local hosts as well as the programme committee and TERENA organisers, this was one to remember.

Selected Papers Summary

Sixteen papers presented in parallel sessions were selected for this publication. These papers cover both research and practical approaches to some of the challenges faced by today's research and education networks. In keeping with the conference theme, one thing they have in common is demonstrating innovation in networking with the world.

With respect to cloud services two presentations stood out:

The paper Open Cloud eXchange (OCX): Bringing Cloud Services to NRENs and Universities presents the concept of Open Cloud eXchange (OCX) that has been proposed by the GÉANT (GN3plus) JRA1 activity, to bridge the gap between two major components of the cloud services provisioning infrastructure: Cloud Service Provider (CSP) infrastructure and cloud services delivery infrastructure, which in many cases requires dedicated local infrastructure and quality of services that cannot be delivered by the public Internet infrastructure.

In Operating Cloud: NRENs Case the authors presented a case for NRENs to become a valuable partner for several organisations in both providing extended knowledge to national IT sectors and operating reputable cloud services. They argue that since NRENs are already operating Grid or HPC centres, managing data centres, operating large and high-speed networks, analysing large amounts of data, and running a scalable infrastructure in terms of CPU (Central Processing Units), storage and memory are not new challenges for them.

As is common at TNC, there were several interesting presentations on eduroam and related identity management:

Leonidas Poulopoulos from GRNET presented DjNRO: Django-based application for National Roaming Operators, or how to manage your eduroam database (and more). DjNRO is a web-based application developed by GRNET NOC, which tackles the management of the eduroam database, among other things. DjNRO has been deployed in GRNET since 2012 and is vastly simplifying and improving operations for the NRO (National Roaming Operator) as well as drawing attention from end users and administrators in Greek eduroam federation member institutions. The project is released as open-source and has already attracted several parties interested in deploying it.

Neil Witheridge from AARNet presented a paper titled: Standardisation of eduroam Testing, Monitoring, Metrics and Support Tools that reviews the current state of the art of eduroam operations, administration and maintenance, focusing on deployment testing, operability monitoring, usage metrics, and administrator and end-user support. A strategy for standardisation and global collaboration and contribution of tools for eduroam is presented, leveraging SAML-based global inter-federation for access to services, with the promise of extending applicability of the principles described to federated services in general.

Daniela Pöhn and co-authors from Leibniz Supercomputing Centre presented "Project GÉANT-TrustBroker – dynamic identity management across federation borders". In this presentation they gave an overview of the preliminary results of the OpenCall project GÉANT-TrustBroker (GNTB). GNTB will enable the on-demand creation of virtual federations and put the end user in control of connecting arbitrary service providers (SPs) to their own identity provider (IdP) even when they are not in the same federation or in eduGAIN. GNTB will optionally support the fully automated set-up of technical SP-IdP relationships so that users can immediately start using new services provided by federation-external SPs.

Of course the application of SDN was a hot topic at this year's TNC:

Eduardo Jacob and his international co-authors gave an interesting presentation: "Multi-domain Software Defined Networking: Exploring possibilities". Since the appearance of OpenFlow, Software Defined Networking has become a hot topic inside the networking industry and academia. One of the topics currently under study is the adaptation of SDNs to the multi-domain environment, as current OpenFlow lacks the mechanisms to accomplish that by itself. In this scenario, the GN3plus JRA2T1 task group is investigating how to integrate SDN/OpenFlow with the Network Services Framework, which has proven useful for its application in multi-domain environments. The research is focused on two different areas: the first tackles the establishment of end-to-end connections across different domains where at least one of the domains is SDN/OpenFlow-enabled; the second aims to provide isolated slices to experimenters where the resources belong to different domains.

Eduardo Jacob also worked on the deployment of SDN with another group of co-authors: "Deploying a virtual network function over a Software-Defined Network infrastructure: Experiences deploying an Access Control VNF in the University of the Basque Country's OpenFlow-enabled facility". Substituting hardware boxes with virtual machines in the dynamic scenario of slice creation in SDN-based infrastructure is quite novel. In his presentation, Eduardo described the experience of deploying a virtualised network function to offer access control services (as an output of an AuthN/AuthZ process) on their OpenFlow-Enabled Facility.

The "Hardware abstraction layer for non-OpenFlow capable devices" presentation by Łukasz Ogrodowczyk from PSNC and his colleagues showed a way forward for adding SDN-based control on network devices that are not compatible with OpenFlow. To that end he introduced a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) for non-OpenFlow capable devices that addresses this problem and he discussed its advantages. In the presentation he also explained how a HAL-based architecture can support different classes of network devices.

"Software-defined networking in heterogeneous radio access networks" is the title of the presentation given by Hao Yu from the Technical University of Denmark. He described how integrating different wireless access technologies to provide users with data services will definitely result in a heterogeneous radio access network. Moving from one wireless domain to another causes traffic to be switched from one interface to another. This results in a re-establishment of TCP connection due to the change of the assigned IP address. Frequent handovers may force users to perform re-logins or application restarts, which undoubtedly jeopardises the quality of experience. This vertical handover problem will not be trivial as mobility is becoming a dominant factor in communications. This presentation provided a possible solution and research direction for vertical handover by leveraging the concept of Software-Defined Networking together with existing proposals.

SDN is but one solution to network architecture. However the demands of such an architecture are multiple as described by two papers at this conference:

The Brazilian presentation "Building an infrastructure for experimentation between Brazil and Europe to enhance research collaboration in future Internet" from Iara Machado et al. proposed an architecture developed in the FIBRE project and showed the results so far. The description included detailing the testbed implementation, with its abstractions, and information about hardware, software, and configuration. Furthermore it discussed the challenges of enhancing collaboration between experimental researchers and how to disseminate information about this testbed infrastructure in order to achieve this target.

The University of Perugia presented a paper titled: "ARES: Advanced Networking for Distributing Genomic Data ". The goal of project ARES (Advanced Networking for EU Genomic Research) is to create a novel Content Distribution Network (CDN) architecture supporting medical and research activities that make a large use of genomic data. The paper summarises the current status of the project, the ongoing research, and the achieved and expected results.

Monitoring and performance management were addressed in two papers.

Fausto Vetter et al. showed the MonIPÊ service that enables perfSONAR deployment in Brazilian customer sites through the use of low-cost devices and virtual environment to support monitoring of last mile connectivity.

The presentation "CMon: Multi-Domain Circuit Monitoring System Based on GÉANT perfSONAR MDM" by Trupti Kulkarni (DANTE) and his co-authors presented the problem of managing links that often traverse multiple geographically spaced domains with heterogeneous network infrastructures. This poses many compelling research challenges, one of which is inter-domain network monitoring. They introduced CMon to address the topic of multi-domain circuit monitoring. Building upon some services provided by GÉANT perfSONAR MDM, CMon aims to provide end-to-end circuit monitoring services with flexibility, extensibility, and vendor independency, regardless of the underlying circuit provisioning systems.

An unexpectedly interesting aspect of the Internet was highlighted by Cynthia Wagner from RESTENA and her co-authors. Their presentation: "The void - An interesting place for network security monitoring" led us into IP darkspace. IP darkspace can be described as routable non-used address-space in a computer network. Traffic arriving on this network part is unidirectional and unsolicited. The Internet void, under normal conditions, is a boring place because it is free of any content in general, but by deeply inspecting a "black-hole" monitoring data set, surprising and frightening results show up. A question that arises here, is, why is there traffic, what are possible security impacts and is it there on purpose or by mischance. In their presentation they highlighted some examples of their journey into the noise of the Internet, which ranges from badly configured systems to various unexplained events and consequently to leaked private data.

Finally there were several papers addressing the way we do our business:

With their presentation: "Failure and success - how to move towards successful software development in Networking", Marcin Wolski and his international co-authors demonstrated two examples of the use of software development methods in telecoms projects.

In "Business development in an NREN as an innovation strategy - processes and cases", Celso Capovilla and Eduardo Grizendi from the Brazilian NREN, RNP, described the model for sustainable exploitation of results from R&D in the form of licensing and transfer of technology to the market. This contributes to the Brazilian system of innovation and lowers costs in R&D and new ventures. This also has a positive impact on the financial results with the implementation of new business through the royalties this generates. The model ensures the innovation cycle from the technological results of the projects in R&D, adequately handles intellectual property in the form of patents, trademarks and registration of computer programs, and performs the transfer and the licensing of these technologies to startups or established companies.

Archives of live–streamed speeches, speakers’ slides and other TNC2014 information are all available via the conference website: We look forward to very warmly welcoming you to TNC2015, which will be held on 15-18 June 2015 in Porto, Portugal, and at

Erik Huizer
TNC2014 Programme Committee Chair


(alphabetically by presenting author)

TNC2014 Programme Committee
Erik Huizer SURFnet Netherlands
Guido Aben AARNET Australia
Bartosz Belter PSNC Poland
Jose Maria Fontanillo RedIRIS Spain
Lukas Hämmerle SWITCH Switzerland
Ana Hunsinger Internet2 USA
Leif Johansson SUNET Sweden
Reimer Karlsen-Masur DFN-CERT Services GmbH Germany
Lucy Lynch ISOC
Janos Mohacsi NIIF / HUNGARNET Hungary
Leonidas Poulopoulos GRnet Greece
Victor Reijs HEAnet Ireland
Roberto Sabatino DANTE
Brook Schofield TERENA
Niels van Dijk SURFnet Netherlands
Klaas Wierenga Cisco Systems
TERENA support  
Helmut Sverenyak TERENA VP Conferences, CESNET Czech Republic
Valentino Cavalli TERENA
Bert van Pinxteren TERENA
Gyöngyi Horváth TERENA
Magda Haver TERENA