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  3. May ’22 Newsletter

May ’22 Newsletter

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What’s New With FABRIC?

An update from Ilya Baldin, FABRIC Principal Investigator

The FABRIC team is continuing to build out the testbed footprint. After many vendor logistics-related delays we now have firm dates for the delivery of the remaining Phase 1 sites at Clemson, UCSD, FIU, GPN/UMKC, while completing the orders for Phase 2 site hardware. Release 1.2 of the FABRIC software stack is being readied for production deployment in the upcoming days. This release will include new experimenter features like ‘Facility Ports’ to create experiment slices that include resources external to FABRIC, ‘Mirror Ports’ that allow mirroring traffic from the dataplane into a slice and a number of others. Be sure to check the Release Notessection for detailed updates when they become available. 

We are working with our partners at Open Cloud Testbed (University of Massachusetts and Northeastern University) to create FPGA-based P4 experiment workflows usable on FABRIC, stay tuned for more updates on it this summer. We expect to deploy Tofino-based P4 switches in FABRIC in the fall. 

In lieu of a Spring KNIT workshop, the FABRIC team hosted a KNIT Spring ‘22 Webinar. Additionally, we are continuing to onboard new early experimenters using monthly tutorial webinars, which are now open to the public. You can find more information about accessing materials from these events and attending future iterations below.

Recording from KNIT Spring ‘22 Webinar

April 28, 2022

Thank you again to those who attended the KNIT Winter ’21 Workshop, and helped us make it a success! The FABRIC team enjoyed hearing all the thoughts and feedback based on the sessions and information shared.

The FABRIC testbed leadership team used the hour to provide site installation status updates, share new features on the testbed, and introduce tutorial sessions and videos. Additionally, the team discussed how the platform enables novel approaches to distributed and network systems control and management by integrating artificial intelligence (AI), and how users can utilize the AI capabilities in their proposals, papers, workshops and more.

Check out the full video on our channel.

FABRIC Tutorial Webinar Series

Multiple dates starting June 9

The FABRIC community is cordially invited to participate in an upcoming FABRIC tutorial webinar, hosted by Paul Ruth. The purpose of this webinar is to introduce incoming and existing beta users to the new features and onboard new teams to the testbed. The FABlib library is significantly different from the original FABRIC API and this webinar will be valuable to both new and experienced users. During this webinar, Ruth will present new features and walkthrough several FABlib example experiments.

New users will be given the opportunity to create accounts, although the team will ask any new users to create an account before the start of the webinar. FABRIC team members will be available to help any users who have trouble creating accounts.

Tutorial dates include June 9, July 14, and August 11. All webinars will take place from 12 – 2 PM ET, and space will be limited. Please indicate all dates that you are available on the form when you register, and the team will be in touch with your confirmed webinar date.

Please use our online form to register for a spot.

FABRIC In The News

A Reimagined Internet

When the internet launched in the last century it was an amazing feat of science and technology. But it was not designed for the massive data sets, machine-learning tools, advanced sensors and Internet of Things devices that have become central to many research and business endeavors and our homes.

Funded with a $20 million grant from the National Science FoundationFABRIC (Adaptive Programmable Research Infrastructure for Computer Science and Science Applications) is exploring ways to replace an internet infrastructure that’s been showing its age for the last 20 years.

NCSA is one of 13 collaborating institutions helping create a platform for testing novel internet architectures that could enable a faster, more secure internet better suited for today’s users and future needs. One that’s also able to do things not possible now. The FABRIC project is led by the Network Research and Infrastructure Group at RENCI at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Read the full article online.

FABRIC: A Testbed of Testbeds

Participating Testbeds and Facilities

FABRIC is a testbed of testbeds, helping users experiment using multiple testbeds. Like Lego blocks, users can get accounts on several testbeds and build an experiment using all of them. Additionally, testbeds can be powered by FABRIC. FABRIC can support testbeds as an underlying infrastructure, while not necessarily exposing the FABRIC interfaces to their users. 

The list of participating testbeds and facilities is growing and currently includes  and currently includes over twelve members. Testbeds and facilities can be added to the page using this form.

Find the full list on our website.

Defining FABRIC

A glossary for common terms used by our researchers

Identity Token: A signed statement from a trusted entity carrying identity attributes, which are used by individual Control Framework and Measurement Framework agents to make resource allocation authorization decisions.

Identity Provider (IdP): An agent run on behalf of an institution capable of asserting a number of institution-specific identity attributes about a principal

See the full glossary on our website.

Open Solicitations

Funding opportunities that encourage the use of FABRIC

CISE Community Research Infrastructure (CCRI): The Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Community Research Infrastructure (CCRI) program drives discovery and learning in the core CISE disciplines of the three participating divisions by funding the creation and enhancement of world-class research infrastructure. This research infrastructure will specifically support diverse communities of CISE researchers pursuing focused research agendas in computer and information science and engineering. Full proposals due June 23.

Campus Cyberinfrastructure (CC*): The Campus Cyberinfrastructure (CC) program invests in coordinated campus-level networking and cyberinfrastructure improvements, innovation, integration, and engineering for science applications and distributed research projects. Science-driven requirements are the primary motivation for any proposed activity. The most recent solicitation for CC introduces two new areas on regional computing and data storage for proposals. Full proposals due June 27.

Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC): The SaTC program welcomes proposals that address cybersecurity and privacy, drawing on expertise in one or more of these areas: computing, communication, and information sciences; engineering; education; mathematics; statistics; and social, behavioral, and economic sciences. Proposals that advance the field of cybersecurity and privacy within a single discipline or interdisciplinary efforts that span multiple disciplines are both welcome. Full proposals can be submitted at any time.

See a list of all solicitations mentioning FABRIC on our website. 

Do you have a project idea that would benefit from using FABRIC? The FABRIC team welcomes requests for Letters of Collaboration. To expedite the process, please contact us by filling out the form.

Upcoming Events

Leadership team presence at industry or academic events

International Workshop on Test and Evaluation of Programmable Networks (TEPN 2022): Supported by the development of several testbed facilities including Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR)CloudlabGENIFABRICChameleon, and US-European EMPOWER, researchers are able to pursue programmable network experiments across the mobile edge, core networks and the cloud. The goal of TEPN 2022 is to bring together researchers from wireless networking, cloud computing, distributed computing, security, and autonomous systems to share their experiences and lessons learned from using these testbeds, challenges toward implementing at-scale experiments, discuss ideas to integrate experiments across multiple platforms, and facilitate the broader use of developed experiments and collected datasets with the community. TEPN 2022 is technically sponsored by FABRIC and is co-located with DCOSS 2022 in Marina Del Ray, California. FABRIC leadership team member KC Wang serves as a Workshop Chair, and Ilya Baldin, Zongming Fei, and Jim Griffioen are part of the Technical Program Committee. The event will take place from May 30 – June 1.

2022 SaTC PI Meeting: The fifth biennial NSF Secure and Trustworthy CyberSpace Principal Investigators’ Meeting (SaTC PI Meeting ’22) will be held Tuesday, May 31st (arrival night) through Wednesday, June 1 and Thursday, June 2, 2022 (meeting days). FABRIC leadership team member Anita Nikolich will host a breakout session on AI & Cybersecurity during the event on June 1. The event will take place from May 31 – June 2.

MERIF Workshop 2022: MERIF, the Midscale Experimental Research Infrastructure Forum, is an NSF-CISE-funded project, one of whose goals is to look beyond today’s midscale research infrastructure projects for visions of future infrastructures that can support experiments at the frontiers of CISE research areas, both within computer science itself and interdisciplinary. FABRIC leadership team members Ilya Baldin and KC Wang will present a session on Data: Archiving, Curation, and Management at 12:30 PM ET on June 2. The event will take place from June 1 – June 3.

SLICES Workshop: Scientific Instruments to support digital infrastructure science: Paul Ruth will serve on the Technical Committee for the SLICES Workshop: Scientific Instruments to support digital infrastructure science, hosted by IFIP Networking 2022. This workshop continues the work started in the INFOCOM 2019 “Workshop on Experimentation Meets Platforms: A Survey of macro trends in mobile communication research and its impact on future testbed development”. Several other workshops and panels have been organized successfully over the last few years and the proposers are very experienced in organizing such events, including moving into virtual has done already because of the pandemic. The event will take place from June 13 – 16.

See a list of all upcoming events on our website. 

Updated on July 18, 2022

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