The future of distributed network research infrastructure

Jay Aikat, Ilya Baldin, Mark Berman, Joe Breen, Richard Brooks, Prasad Calyam, Jeff Chase, Wallace Chase, Russell J. Clark, Chip Elliott, Jim Griffioen, Dijiang Huang, Julio Ibarra, Tom Lehman, Ibrahim Matta, Inder Monga, Christos Papadopoulos, Mike Reiter, Dipankar Raychaudhuri, Glenn RicartRobert Ricci, Paul Ruth, Ivan Seskar, Jerry Sobieski, Jacobus Van Der Merwe, Kuang Ching Wang, Tilman Wolf, Mike Zink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Shared research infrastructure that is globally distributed and widely accessible has been a hallmark of the networking community. We present a vision for a future mid-scale distributed research infrastructure aimed at enabling new types of discoveries. The “lessons learned” from constructing and operating the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) infrastructure are the basis for our attempt to project future concepts and solutions. Our aim is to engage the community to contribute new ideas and to inform funding agencies about future research directions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-51
Number of pages6
JournalComputer Communication Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
An experimental testbed that can enable the research community to develop new network protocols, systems, and applications has long been an important goal. Around 2006, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) sought to develop a Global Environment for Network Innovation (GENI). The current GENI testbed is an active research platform [2, 6] that is used widely in the community. Entire research programs, such as the NSF Future Internet Architecture (FIA) [4], have relied on GENI or used the key concepts of such infrastructure [1, 7, 9, 11, 13]. The NSFCloud program grew out of GENI, enabling programmable research not only on the network, but on the cloud. GENI was also one of the earliest platforms to support wireless testbed applications – and was a precursor to NSF Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) [8]. GENI also served as a testbed for much of the recent work on software-defined networking (SDN) and software-defined exchange points (SDXs) [5]. While this breadth of impact is unique to GENI, there are other testbeds that have been developed and deployed in Europe and Asia [3, 10, 12].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Association for Computing Machinery. All rights reserved.


  • Application
  • Distributed Computing
  • Experimentation
  • Instrumentation
  • Measurement.
  • Network
  • Testbed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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