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Innovative Application Awards



Eight (8) proposals have been selected to receive initial cash awards for their application proposals, with the remainder to be awarded upon successful project completion in the early fall. The awards program aims to produce examples of new open source, software-defined networking (SDN) enabled, advanced end-user applications. The goal: helping campus research, science and education advance with the transformational new SDN and 100G capabilities of the Internet2 Innovation Platform.

The Internet2 Network is the first open, national-scale 100G network that employs SDN and OpenFlow standards and includes equipment from Juniper Networks, Ciena, and Brocade, who are all Internet2 industry members.

Updates and progress on the awards program also can be found on Twitter at #innovativeappaward.

Selected Proposals

Application Developer: William J. Brockelsby
Organization: North Carolina State University (NCSU)
Location: Raleigh, NC
Project: Network Administration Control The application aims to provide an efficient, customized, enriched "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) experience for any campus user or visitor. The user can be securely verified to access the enterprise network, and routed to the most pertinent digital resources based on the user's role, work, and/or discipline. For example, a visiting particle physics expert could have their identity and device recognized and immediately routed to the institution's dedicated physics network, cloud, and other digital resources.

Application Developer: Marc De Leenheer
Organization: Open Network Laboratory
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Project: Netvisor Researchers need networking environments that can be molded to meet their demanding requirements. Netvisor is a network virtualization platform that aims to allow each researcher to build discrete virtual networks on a shared physical infrastructure for research collaboration. Each virtual network in the multi-tenant cloud would look and behave just like a physical network, but provide complete control over the address space and topology.

Application Developer: Mo Dong
Organization: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
Location: Urbana, IL
Project: Black Box Congestion Control (BBCC) Big data senders are faced with the challenge of efficiently and effectively distributing large data sets among collaborators. BBCC aims to allow individual senders to observe and diagnose changing network conditions, optimize and control network characteristics, and meet specific data movement needs.

Application Developer: Rasha El-Jaroudi
Organization: Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
Location: Atlanta, GA
Project: Software Defined Networking (SDN) based Application for Efficient Video Streaming All network users, especially those without networking expertise, need to reliably stream video content. The application aims to enable seamless video streaming by providing better control through a holistic view of network conditions, a programmable interface to an SDN controller, and leveraging content from optimal sources based on the global view of the network in order to reduce bandwidth costs.

Application Developer: Andy Li Xiaolin
Organization: University of Florida
Location: Gainesville, FL
Project: Elf: Network-Enhanced Data Prefetching Middleware for Geo-Distributed MapReduce Scientists geographically distributed need to collaborate with massive amounts of data. MapReduce is a popular programming model for analyzing large data sets generated by experiments. This application aims to provide a solution that enhances the functionality of MapReduce by reserving network bandwidth and performing intelligent data transfers.

Application Developer: Pingping Lin
Organization: Open Network Laboratory
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Project: Seamless Interworking of Software Defined Networks and IP Collaborators using different types of network architectures need them to reliably interoperate. This application aims to allow Software Defined Networks to interoperate with legacy networks, ensuring successful network collaboration. Utilizing BGP (Border Gateway Protocol), this solution has been implemented and evaluated for feasibility, and is now ready for deployment in production environments.

Application Developer: Muhammad Shabaz
Organization: Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
Location: Atlanta, GA
Project: Software Defined Networking (SDN) for Internet Exchange Points Network operators need controller software tailored for inter-domain routing due to the rise of SDN infrastructures at several commercial SDN Internet exchange (SDX) points. This application aims to create an architecture for SDX that can solve a variety of problems for network operators who must rely on BGP by enabling new functions and a richer set of policies than are possible with today's inter-domain routing systems.

Application Developer: Stephen Tredger
Organization: University of Victoria and PlanetWorks LLC
Location: Victoria, BC
Project: GENI Experiment Engine (GEE) Infrastructure Testing and developing new applications are crucial to advancing network infrastructure, innovating Internet technologies, and accelerating scientific discovery through enhanced research collaboration. The GEE aims to radically simplify researchers and educators workflow in using distributed systems to quickly deploy and develop distributed apps that work higher in the stack by using pre allocated dedicated VLANs creating an international network to isolate GEE experiments.


Feel free to email us at if you have a question that's not answered here.

When will the first payment be made to the team?

Initial payment will be made after the initial call with each team and once all the paperwork is completed.

When will the final payment be made to the team?

Upon successful completion and submission of the proposed App, including working code, appropriate documentation and successful testing of the App in the Internet2 test lab or production AL2S network.

What is the mechanism for getting questions answered?

Send any questions you have to and someone from the technical support team with let you know that they have received the question and get back to you with an answer in a timely manner. For questions that do not have immediate answers, we will provide an estimated timeframe for getting back to you.

Will there be subsequent conference calls between the Innovative App teams and the technical support team?

Yes, we will schedule another round of calls with all the Innovative App teams in mid to late August. In addition, the technical support team is available by email or phone to provide answers to any questions you may have during the contest period.

What is the targeted deployment environment?

We’re interested in applications that interface with either the OESS API (link) or include their own controller and communicate directly with a slice on Flowvisor. We have a 20-node production environment that is a mix of Juniper MX-960s and Brocade MLXe-16s in SDN mode called AL2S that supports OpenFlow 1.0, Flowvisor, NOX, OESS, and OSCARS.

What deployment environment can be used for testing?

We're interested in applications that interface with either the OESS API or include their own controller and communicate directly with a slice on Flowvisor. We have a 5-node NEC PF5280 test environment called NDDI that supports OpenFlow 1.0, Flowvisor, NOX, OESS, and OSCARS. We may be able to provide additional testing facilities supplied by the various vendors.

Are there any tools to help support the App development?

There are! The Floodlight project has good information on an OpenFlow Controller and an introduction to SDN:

The tutorial at has good information on Virtual Machines and Switches:

Mininet is a great tool for rapid prototyping of SDN networks:

Information on OESS can be found in Google Docs:

What are the test environments available for testing the Apps, both during the development period as well as to confirm the App works?

Several platforms are available for testing and trial deployment of apps. We will work with your team to identify which of these resources would be useful for your project as you develop your app.

We expect that initial development of your application will be done using a virtual environment such as mininet, or local OpenFlow resources at your institution. Once you have working code and want to deploy in a more representative test environment, Internet2 has several sets of resources that we can work with you to make available to your team.

What is the NEC PF5820 Platform?

Internet2 has a 6 node NEC PF5820 OpenFlow environment deployed in our POPs in Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Raleigh, and Washington D.C. These switches are interconnected by dedicated 10 Gigabit Ethernet links in a ring topology. This platform can be made available for app teams for early or later stage testing of your application. A commodity server that can host controller or endpoint VMs is available in each POP.

current NDDI diagram

What is the AL2S Lab?

Internet2 has a set of lab resources located at Indiana University, including 2 Brocade MLXe-16 and Juniper MX960 nodes. These nodes can be configured in a variety of topologies and can be made available for testing for app teams. This set of resources represents a similar environment to the live AL2S system.

What is the AL2S Network?

Work is ongoing this summer to provide a lightweight VLAN-slice based virtualization system (Flowspace Firewall) for the live AL2S network. We expect this system to allow virtualized access to AL2S that will allow applications to operate across the OpenFlow match range supported natively by the AL2S platform (currently restricted to layer-2 matches), constrained by a single or range of VLAN IDs. If your application can operate in a way that includes matches on a specified set of VLANs which have been allocated to your project, your application should be compatible with this virtualizer. Additional fine-grained slicing capabilities can be provided by a FlowVisor instance stacked behind the VLAN-based Flowspace Firewall. Applications must be tested in the lab environment before being deployed on the AL2S network.

How do I get access to the test environments?

When you’re ready to start testing, we can help you identify the best resources for your app and get you access to those resources. We’ll start by assigning an Internet2 NOC Systems Engineer to work with you to get you up and running. The first step will be to identify what resources you need.

To get started, please send an e-mail to requesting a systems ticket be opened for your app testing. Please provide a brief description of the testing you’re hoping to conduct, and any resource requirements you already know. If you can answer any of the following questions in your initial request, that’s great—if not, we’ll help you work through the answers:

  • Will you need access to VMs to act as endpoints or control hosts? How many sites will you need VMs at?
  • How much memory and disk space for your VM(s) will be required?
  • Your VMs will be hosted on a RedHat Linux KVM platform. Can you provide KVM-format VM images for your VMs?
  • Will the VMs need external connectivity? If so, how much traffic is expected?
  • What throughput is expected between sites?

We’ll work with you to get your VMs running, get you credentials and management IP address information; get you information on how to exchange OpenFlow messages with the test platforms (either through FlowVisor or directly with the switches, depending on the platform); and other relevant access and addressing details for the resources you’ll be using.

We will also provide you with technical documentation from the switch vendor that includes details about their SDN implementations (NEC, Juniper, and/or Brocade) once we determine what test platform(s) you will use.