Virtual Wire: Network in a Box (Sun Tech Day in Hyderabad)

Virtual Wire: Network in a Box (Sun Tech Day in Hyderabad)

Virtual Wire: Network in a Box (Sun Tech Day in Hyderabad)


I did a session for developers during the Sun Tech Day in Hyderabad and Raju Alluri had printed out 100 copies of the workshop and we were carrying 100 DVDs with Crossbow iso images (they are available on web here. The people just loved it. We had sooo underestimated the demand that printouts and DVDs disappeared in less than a minute. I had a presentation that included 30 odd slides but I couldn't even go past slide 7 since the workshop was so interesting to people. And between the tech day presentation and user group meeting in the evening, people pointed out a lot of interesting uses and why this can be such a powerful thing.

The idea that you can create any arbitrarily complex physical network as a virtual wire and run your favorite workload, do performance analysis and debug it is very appealing to people. Remember that we are not simulating the network. This is the real thing i.e. real applications running and real packets flowing. If you application runs on any OS, it will run on this virtual network and will send and receive real packets!!

The concept is pretty useful even to people like us because now we don't need to pester our lab staff to create us a network for us to test or experiment on. And best part is, we can use xVM and run Linux and Windows as hosts as well.

We are thinking of writing a book which reinvents how you learn networking in schools and universities. And oh by the way, do people really care about CCNA now that they can do all this on their laptop :) If someone is interested in contributing real examples for this workshop module and the book, you are more than welcome. Just drop us a line.
Comments:

Thank you so much for your innovative and revolutionary work in bringing router networking capabilities on general purpose open sofware and commodity hardware (Solaris on X64). The link above points to a crossbow dvd iso image of 3.5 GB, but in the Virtual Router project page (http://opensolaris.org/os/project/vnm/VirtualRouter/VNRP/), the iso image based on Indiana is about 650 MB (LiveCD). Is the latter a optimized version or do they have different capabilities ?
+1 for the project
and +1 for the book

Posted by Raul on March 04, 2008 at 12:01 PM PST #

Hi sunay,

Your presentation at hyderabad was awesome! I liked it very much.

I have a question for you. I have a Intel pro 1000, and NForce eth controller. Now, How do I determine if it supports the hardware based flow classifier ?

Posted by Balaji Rao R on March 07, 2008 at 03:27 AM PST #

Hi sunay,

I forgot that I had one more thing to ask! Could you please release the Presentation which you presented at Hyderabad ? If it is already posted elsewhere, can you please point me to it ?

thank you!

Posted by Balaji Rao R on March 07, 2008 at 03:35 AM PST #

Raul,

Crossbow is not ported to Indiana yet so that why
you see the full distro. With Indiana, you get the
core pieces and then you can choose what else you
need. Either way, Crossbow is core functionality
so you will get it with or without Indiana. The
link posted on Virtual Router page is much older
version. We are planning to post a new version based on the beta bits soon and it will also be
Indiana based.

Cheers,
Sunay

Posted by Sunay Tripathi on March 09, 2008 at 05:28 PM PDT #

Balaji,

Its currently hard to determine how many H/W based flows intel pro 1000 is capable of supporting. You will have to look at the H/W specs. One of the features we are planning to add soon is 'dladm show-dev' (or some similar command) will show you all the H/W cpaability.

Also, the presentation I did at Hyderabad tech day is posted at http://www.opensolaris.org/os/community/advocacy/events/current_tech_days/hyderabad/

Cheers,
Sunay

Posted by Sunay Tripathi on March 09, 2008 at 05:34 PM PDT #

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Sunay Tripathi, Sun Distinguished Engineer, Solaris Core OS, writes a weblog on architecture for Solaris Networking Stack, GLDv3 (Nemo) framework, Crossbow Network Virtualization and related things

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