The research proposal BORA-BORA is characterized by a strong experimental flavor; its main focus is on the study of routers based on standard Personal Computer (PC) architecture and on open source software/hardware. Whereas most of the research projects on software routers are focused on the study of a single router in isolation, the BORA-BORA project main aim is to study the scalability and reliability properties of software routers in a network scenario. To reach its goals, the project will proceed in two directions: first, a distributed test-bed, linking all research units, will be implemented to test router behavior in a realistic networking environment; second, architectures based on the aggregation of several PCs, to create a large size router, will be studied, mainly theoretically but also experimentally.
The main project goals are:
- to define a reference hardware and software architecture, in which the subsystems (like CPU, memory, PC bus, interface cards) limiting performance are identified, and to devise the best distribution of functionalities among router subsystems (mainly, between CPU and intelligent interface cards);
- to determine the scalability properties in terms of number of input/output ports, number and type of supported protocols, on a large scale network scenario;
- to develop software and hardware modules for the transport, control and management planes, with particular attention to the problems related to their coexistence;
- to analyze scalable and reliable architectures based on the interconnection of PCs, with particular attention to: the definition of models for the dimensioning, the implementation of distributed functionalities, and the study of load balancing schemes among interconnected routers. The dissemination of the project results to the international research community will be primarily based on conference and journal papers publication. In addition, to provide the highest advantages to the national research community, an open workshop will be organized at the end of the project to present the most significant results obtained during the project. The software and hardware tools developed in BORA-BORA will be public and available on the project website. The test-bed developed during the project will be available for experimentation and further development to other research groups.
Besides technical issues, the project wishes to contribute to the culture of open and free software and hardware, to promote at national level experimental activities, to spread the competence in a strategic area today mainly dominated by foreign vendors, and to strengthen competence at academic level for teaching activities in university laboratories.
- Università degli Studi di Genova
- Università degli Studi di Pisa
- Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"
- Università degli Studi di Catania