Network convergence is one of the main challenges of NGN, and Carrier-Grade Ethernet is a very promising choice to achieve this as the transport technology of future network architectures. CGE consists of a group of technologies standardized by the IEEE, such as PB (802.1ad), PBB (802.1ah) or PBB-TE (802.1Qay).
Commercial products sometimes take a long time to be available and are close platforms. Moreover, research entities have founding limitations to obtain those resources. Therefore, a new set of tools are proposed to overcome these restrictions and achieve a complete network scheme based on CGE technologies. The Click Project has been used as the basic element for this development.
Firstly, new basic elements have been defined as Click modules to emulate CGE behaviours. Then, tap devices (Layer 2 virtual network devices) have been used to virtualize the network connections between elements. Finally, the virtual bridges are built with both resources.
A new GUI has also been developed to make scenario composition lighter. Network definition is carried out on a graphical basis, and then the elements run as Click processes.
The network can be split up in several machines, since taps can be changed by real interfaces. Input/output traffic can be from/to real devices (merging both real and virtual worlds), and traffic can be sniffed from every virtual device.
As a final contribution, a new approach for network convergence based on Bridging Virtualization is presented, in which every network element can act simultaneously as PB, PBB or PBB-TE (or any new definition).
||TERENA Networking Conference 2009 (TNC 2009)