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Columbia University
DCC Lab ABone Testbed

The Active Network Backbone (ABone) is a virtual testbed for the Active Networks research program funded by the DARPA ATO (moved from ITO). The DCC Laboratory at Columbia University participates in the ABone by providing a testbed of 14 Intel PCs running RedHat GNU/Linux.

In addition to serving as a distributed testbed for Active Networks research, the Columbia ABone nodes are being used to develop and demonstrate technologies developed at the DCC laboratory. The two technologies demonstrated are NESTOR, an architecture for automating network configuration management, and VAN, a technology for creating Virtual Active Networks.

Contact: Alexander V. Konstantinou [ akonstan@cs.columbia.edu ]

1. Node Configuration

Each DCC Lab ABone node is configured as follows:

In addition, a single server host is configured with:

2. Topology

The Columbia ABone nodes are configured in a flat switched topology. A Virtual link has been created between two nodes to demonstrate VAN functionality.

3. Browsing the ABONE NESTOR Repository

It is possible to browse the configuration of the Columbia ABONE nodes using the NESTOR browser. The browser is a pure-Java application that can be executed using Sun's Java Web Start application.

3.1 Requirements

3.2 Starting the Java NESTOR Browser

!!!!!!!!! Click here to launch the NESTOR Browser !!!!!!!!!

3.3 Screenshot

A screen-shot of the browser is shown below. Note that the browser will be executing with guest privileges which means that the repository configuration may not be modified.

NESTOR Browser screenshot

3.4 Brief Usage Instructions

3.5 Troubleshooting

4. Additional Services

DARPA Active Networks researchers may request a development kit that will enable them to instrument their applications in the NESTOR repository. Developers will receive repository accounts allowing them to create and maintain objects. Please send e-mail to akonstan@cs.columbia.edu for more information.

5. About NESTOR

NESTOR is an architecture for automating network configuration management. Configuration in NESTOR is expressed in a unified object-relationship model. Instances of the model are stored in distributed repositories supporting transactional access. Changes to the model are only committed if the satisfy a set of declarative constraints expressed in a constraint language. Additionally, changes in part of the model may be propagated (as in spreadsheets) through the use of acyclic propagation rules. The model is mapped to the real world through a set of adapters. More information on NESTOR can be obtained in the project's web-site.

A prototype of NESTOR has been built and includes an object repository, a standard API for remote client access, a graphical browser for navigating repository objects and visualizing topology, and adapters for various systems including Linux hosts, SNMP MIB-2 devices, CISCO switches, CISCO routers, Virtual Active Networks (VANs) and the Active Network Daemon (AnetD).

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