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!ProtoGENI Project Meeting, 06 Nov 2007

!ProtoGENI Project Meeting, 06 Nov 2007


  • attendees: Jay, Mike, Rob, David, Leigh (phone), Eric
  • start @ 11:10 AM
  • end @ 12:40 PM

Fork or Don't Fork the Emulab Code Base?

  • Leigh and Mike argue that we should [not] fork the code base
    • must have users for direction, testing, debugging
    • one code base is easier to keep up-to-date than two
    • we don't have people who are dedicated to the GENI project; all our people must work on GENI and production Emulab concurrently
    • 90% code/functionality overlap suggests not to fork; we would need to copy bug fixes back and forth
      • Rob: we currently commit several bug fixes per week, mostly committed by Leigh
    • Rob: look at what's happened to PlanetLab
  • Jay argues that we should fork the code base
    • freedom to hack --- getting our developers to "change vision"
    • bugs in our GENI base are OK
    • instability is OK
    • a fork is a temporary thing; in one or two years, they will be remerged
    • Jay: "I don't care that much if the Emulab base has quality degradation."
  • Eric: is there a middle ground? Can we componentize the code, and then fork only the parts that are needed?
    • Rob: this would be in conflict with the !ProtoGENI "develop fast" constraint
  • Rob: reasons to fork
    • assign_wrapper: must change, with systemic effects; touching lots of bits
    • Emulab and !ProtoGENI need different terminology; different user interfaces and other front ends
  • Mike: forking is "the death of Emulab"
    • fork represents that fact that we're moving on
    • we just won't have time to maintain both
  • Jay: what about the workbench?
    • must run on regular Emulab, where we already have users
    • so we must keep Emulab alive
  • Final comments
    • Jay: our !ProtoGENI work can be "successful" even if GENI fails
    • Jay: generalizing Emulab is important in its own right
    • Leigh: OK to table this for now
      • eventually we will get to a point where fork versus non-fork matters
    • Jay: free your mind to rearchitecting Emulab!
  • Resolution: table the discussion for now

GENI Abstractions

  • Rob: the stuff in the !ProtoGENI docs may not look a lot like what we have now...
    • ...but indeed, Rob believes that we can map a lot of the !ProtoGENI API onto our existing abstractions and implementation
  • Leigh: not worried about implementing the basic !ProtoGENI API; he's worried more about other issues
    • virtualization
      • with vservers
    • security model: model is so poorly specified
      • Jay: lead or follow in this area? Following is more work-efficient, but leading might be faster in the sense that we get what we like
      • delegation is an intrinsic part of the model
      • infrastructure required for handling keys
      • Rob: implement something simpler than the full GENI specification, because the specification may never be fully fleshed out
        • we implement a similar API
        • come up with our own ways of doing certain things, e.g., signing
        • we store the bags of bits for users
  • Jay: what about collaborating with outside folks about security stuff?
    • Steve Schwab wants to collaborate with us
  • Handling virtualization
    • Jay: what about the shared node stuff?
    • Leigh: we don't really have the concept of a shared node at all in our core system
      • we cannot share a node between projects
    • Rob: the model that we already have for the PlanetLab nodes is what we can go with
      • component == physical node
      • slivers == resources
      • as far as the database goes, we're not that far from what we need
    • Question: do we want !ProtoGENI to work on PlanetLab nodes?
      • "break it and then fix it"

Node Manager

  • David was going to look at the node manager stuff, but was on vacation and didn't have time
  • Initial thoughts: do not take the schema wholesale; take some of their schema
  • Otherwise, we can take a lot of stuff from the node manager

Action Items

  • Leigh [carryover from previous meetings]: look at how we are currently unfaithful to XMLRPC or SOAP standards
  • Rob: work more on software list
  • Mike and Rob: list the features we don't have now to set up a GENI experiment? "List of things that must be fixed."
    • e.g., shared nodes other than PlanetLab nodes
    • e.g., we don't have tunneling to PlanetLab nodes

-- Main.EricEide - 07 Nov 2007