Emulating the Internet

Congratulations to Werner Vogels and his group on having their proposal for (amoungst other things) emulating the Internet accepted for funding! Werner writes;

The philosophy behind the testbed is to use a small high performance cluster (4 nodes) with 20 Fast Ethernet interfaces and an internal Gigabit ethernet interconnect to emulate the core of the Internet (or what ever topology you want to emulate). These FE interfaces are connected to a number of switches that provide the connection to all the end nodes. We make extensive use of VLANs to emulate the AD connections, and last mile connectivity. The goal is to run eventually with a 1000 physical nodes, the current first phase proposal was for 252 nodes. Each node has 3 ethernet connections, and we use software to emulate 3 end-nodes at each physical node. The experiments run the real software that you would eventually deploy, no simulated stuff.

Which sounds very cool from a technical POV. But if you want to emulate the whole Internet, try selling off those nodes to independantly owned and operated profit centers that are competitive with each other. Now that’s emulation (or is it simulation?). 8-)

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