NETEMBED: A Network Resource Mapping Service for Distributed Applications
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Emerging configurable infrastructures such as large-scale overlays and grids, distributed testbeds, and sensor networks comprise diverse sets of available computing resources (e.g., CPU and OS capabilities and memory constraints) and network conditions (e.g., link delay, bandwidth, loss rate, and jitter) whose characteristics are both complex and time-varying. At the same time, distributed applications to be deployed on these infrastructures exhibit increasingly complex constraints and requirements on resources they wish to utilize. Examples include selecting nodes and links to schedule an overlay multicast file transfer across the Grid, or embedding a network experiment with specific resource constraints in a distributed testbed such as PlanetLab. Thus, a common problem facing the efficient deployment of distributed applications on these infrastructures is that of "mapping" application-level requirements onto the network in such a manner that the requirements of the application are realized, assuming that the underlying characteristics of the network are known. We refer to this problem as the network embedding problem. In this paper, we propose a new approach to tackle this combinatorially-hard problem. Thanks to a number of heuristics, our approach greatly improves performance and scalability over previously existing techniques. It does so by pruning large portions of the search space without overlooking any valid embedding. We present a construction that allows a compact representation of candidate embeddings, which is maintained by carefully controlling the order via which candidate mappings are inserted and invalid mappings are removed. We present an implementation of our proposed technique, which we call NETEMBED – a service that identify feasible mappings of a virtual network configuration (the query network) to an existing real infrastructure or testbed (the hosting network). We present results of extensive performance evaluation experiments of NETEMBED using several combinations of real and synthetic network topologies. Our results show that our NETEMBED service is quite effective in identifying one (or all) possible embeddings for quite sizable queries and hosting networks – much larger than what any of the existing techniques or services are able to handle.