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Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic: Do you miss your office and test lab environment? – Let the GÉANT Testbeds Service (GTS) help!

When you are stuck working in your home office and have a hard time reaching your regular work environment this can be extra frustrating in a time when the whole world seems to be full of gloom and doom. Do you need to run a test, but do not have access to test lab servers as this would require you to leave the house and go in? Would you like to set up a small virtual network environment to investigate new software or network management tools? Or do you need a network environment for an experiment? Or maybe you just need a VM for a quick testing purpose because your office server needs rebooting and is not available while you are in lockdown at home?

If you have not tried it yet then this is a good time to check out the GÉANT Testbeds Service (GTS). In the GN4-3 project, Work Package 6 has been using GTS extensively for various different tasks, software development and testing, and have had great results!

  • WP6 uses the GTS Service as a platform for continued development of the Service Provider Architecture (SPA).
  • Together with WP7/GÉANT OC, WP6 is setting up a DTN testbed on GTS to investigate DTN-related software tools and their performance.
  • WP6 is currently also working with WP7/GÉANT OC on developing the GCS service (E2E L2 connectivity) in the GÉANT network infrastructure, where some of their components are tested in a GTS testbed before deployment in the production VMs.
  • WP6 uses also a GTS testbed for its incubator work on novel network service monitoring approaches built on top of Linux, Juniper and Cisco monitoring features, all installed on GTS, with a view to their applicability to NREN / R&E environments.
  • WP6 also considers GTS as an example of a virtual network environment in its investigations of future network architectures and their impact on network orchestration, automation and virtualisation.

GTS is great for all types of testing purposes because it allows you to build networks with resources that are dynamically allocated across the GÉANT core service area, and you can do so simply via a web page. So during the COVID-19 crisis there is no need to go out, just visit, register for an account, and set up your own testbed over eight locations in Europe —- all completely from home!

You can also use the GÉANT Testbeds Service to connect team members to a testbed and all of you can work on the same network project; i.e. you can use it for network environments for your whole team and replace the need to go to a common lab. You can also share your work with the NREN community and invite interested members for tests in your project!

So brighten up your lonely home office work with this great facility offered by GÉANT! And let this GÉANT service provide you with the essential network connectivity and testbed support that you may be currently missing.

FAQs for GTS

Q. Who can use GTS?

A. GTS is currently available to researchers from the European network research community with an endorsement from their local NREN and for users who are part of the GN4-3 project, with an endorsement from their work package leader.

Q. How much does it cost?

A. There are no costs, but there are quotas in place on how many resources you can use. A user sets up his/her virtual environment via a webpage and it is then set up automatically so you do not have to schedule anything with a network engineer from OC; the software of the system will let you know if the resources you requested cannot be made available.

Q. Are there qualification criteria for projects?

A. When you register a project you are asked to provide a brief description about the work you are planning.
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