Open Lab

General description

The OpenLab facility is managed by the MNS group and available to all researchers within the SNE cluster and the associated educational programs, e.g. Software Engineering (SE) and Security and Network Engineering (SNE) masters.

It is designed to support research and experimentation in software defined networking, embedded systems, distributed systems, Future Internet architectures and protocols, and secure data sharing platforms, and evaluate the applicability of Machine Learning in those research domains.


OpenLab supports research on programmable data planes, through a range of software, NPU and ASIC devices with P4 support. These include two Edge-core Wedge 100BF-32X switches with Barefoot Tofino P4 programmable ASIC and two Dell PowerEdge R540 servers, each one equipped with two Netronome Agilio CX 2x25 GbE SmartNICs and a Mellanox ConnectX-3 DPDK capable NIC. Moreover, the testbed offers an OpenStack cluster equipped with 128 CPU cores, 1 TB of memory, 3.3 TB of storage and four Nvidia T4 GPUs. The cluster is interconnected using 10 GbE NICs.

Research collaborations

OpenLab is also part of the following research ecosystems:

● The OpenLab P4 site is part of 2STiC research infrastructure, a multi-domain P4-programmable network consisting of six different sites interconnected by SURF’s optical network.

○ The 2STiC equipment in the OpenLab was described above.

● ExoGENI is a widely distributed networked infrastructure-as-a-service (NIaaS) platform geared towards experimentation and computational tasks. ExoGENI is a GENI testbed that orchestrates a federation of independent (OpenStack) cloud sites located across the US and rest of the world, of which OpenLab is one of them. The ExoGENI rack at OpenLab is also part of Fed4FIRE+, a worldwide federation of heterogeneous, Next Generation Internet testbeds supporting a wide variety of research and innovation communities and initiatives in Europe.

○ The ExoGENI OpenLab rack is described here.

● DAS-5 (The Distributed ASCI Supercomputer 5) is a six-cluster wide-area distributed system hosted by universities in the Netherlands, funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. The goal of DAS-5 is to provide a common computational infrastructure for researchers, who work on various aspects of parallel, distributed, grid and cloud computing, and large-scale multimedia content analysis.

○ The DAS-5 hardware that is located at UvA is described here

● PRP (Pacific Research Platform) is a partnership of more than 50 institutions, led by researchers at UC San Diego and UC Berkeley and includes the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and multiple research universities in the US and around the world. The PRP builds on the optical backbone of Pacific Wave, a joint project of CENIC and the Pacific Northwest GigaPOP (PNWGP) to create a seamless research platform that encourages collaboration on a broad range of data-intensive fields and projects.

○ The PRP node at the UvA consists of a single Dual socket Intel Xeon E5-2630 Supermicro server with 29 TB of spinning disk storage, 2.9 TB SSD storage, 64 GB RAM, and a Mellanox ConnectX-3 network adapter.