1 version 32 is currently deployed on planetlab

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1 Version 3.2 is currently deployed on PlanetLab. Version 4 is based on feedback from Version 3 [8], rationalized to better support federation and to provide a more complete security architecture. 3
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2.1 Distributed Virtualization PlanetLab’s primary goal is to provide a global platform that supports broad-coverage services that benefit from having multiple points-of-presense on the network. Planet- Lab simultaneously supports two usage models. PlanetLab users —typically re- searchers and service developers—either run short-term experiments, or deploy continuously running services that support a client workload. PlanetLab supports this usage model by supporting distributed virtualization each service runs in a slice of PlanetLab’s global resources. Multiple slices run concurrently on PlanetLab, where slices act as network-wide containers that isolate services from each other. 2.2 Unbundled Management PlanetLab faces a dilemma: it is designed to support research in broad-coverage network services, yet its management plane is itself a widely distributed service. It was necessary to deploy PlanetLab and start gaining experience with network services before we fully understood what services would be needed to manage the platform. As a consequence, PlanetLab had to be designed with explicit support for evolution. To this end, PlanetLab decomposes the management function into a collection of largely independent infrastructure services , each of which runs in its own slice and is developed by a third-party, just like any other service. We refer to this de- coupling as unbundled management . For example, an infrastructure service might create slices on a set of nodes; buy, sell and trade node resources; keep the code running in a slice up-to-date; monitor a slice’s behavior, and so on. 2.3 Chain of Responsibility PlanetLab takes advantage of nodes contributed by research organizations around the world. These nodes, in turn, host services on behalf of users from other research organizations. The individual users are unknown to the node owners , and to make matters worse, the services they deploy are likely to send potentially disruptive packets into the Internet. The PlanetLab Consortium (PLC) plays the role of a trusted intermediary, thereby freeing each owner from having to negotiate a hosting agreement with each user. An important responsibility of PlanetLab is to preserve the chain of responsibil- ity among all the relevant principals. That is, it must be possible to map externally visible activity (e.g., a transmitted packet) to the principal(s) i.e., users, responsible for that packet. The ability to do this is essential to preserving the trust relation- ships among various parties. Note that the chain of responsibility does not attempt 4
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to eliminate the possibility that bad things might happen, it just requires that the system be able to identify the responsible party when something does go wrong.
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