Open, programmable networks are an important enabler for the future Internet because of their ability to support flexible experimentation and to evolve functionality as new network architectures are deployed on a trial basis. The NSF supported GENI initiative is an ongoing effort to build a national scale open programmable network using a combination of open switching, routing and wireless technologies. The main features of open networking devices used in such testbeds are: (a) an open API which provides access to link-layer technology parameters; (b) downloadable programmability of protocols used at the network layer; (c) virtualization of network resources such as routers and base stations in order to enable multiple simultaneous experiments; and (d) observability of key performance measures such as throughput and packet loss. At the start of the GENI project, it became clear that wireless edge networks and mobile devices are critically important to the future Internet, indicating the need for open programmable wireless access technologies that can be deployed to supplement the virtualized routers and server racks described in other chapters. As a first step, wireless access based on open/programmable WiFi access points has been provisioned into various campus deployments associated with GENI (see for example, the ORBIT testbed described in Chapter 4). Although WiFi is an important mode of access, an increasing proportion of Internet traffic originates from cellular devices such as smartphones, motivating consideration of open cellular systems using the latest available technologies such as 4G WiMax and LTE.
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