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Linux-Kongress 2002
9th International Linux System Technology Conference
September 4-6, 2002 in Cologne, Germany

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See the list of all papers
Author Pim Van Heuven
Title RSVP-TE daemon for DiffServ over MPLS under Linux
PDF: lk2002-heuven.pdf (204668 Bytes)

This project supports the important Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards for the set-up of MultiProtocol Label Switching (MPLS, RFC3031) tunnels with DiffServ support (DS, RFC2475) under Linux by using the ReSource reserVation Protocol (RSVP, RFC2205). These tunnels support scalable Quality of Service (QoS) in IP networks. While the project might be very specialized for the typical Linux user, it is used by ISPs, network operators and research institutes all over the world. For some of them this project is a "killer application" making them look at Linux for the first time.

The project reuses the code of a few existing projects (some of them abandoned) and created a useable RSVP MPLS daemon for Linux. The project deliberately uses an open, bazaar model with frequent releases to leverage on the ever-growing user base.

The talk will address briefly the theoretical basis of MPLS, RSVP and DiffServ. It will elaborate on the architecture and used components both in user and kernel space (netfilter, netlink, scheduling and queueing, MPLS). It will address the trade-off between adding functionality to the kernel and working around existing limitations of the Linux kernel with respect to the project. It will also mention the relationship and experience with other projects and the user base.

The talk concludes by investigating the pros and cons of open sourcing a research project like this that is traditionally developed in house or in a closed group. The comparison is based on a use case: the public demonstration of MPLS technology as proof-of-concept. We compare the close model used in the Ithaci project with the open source project code that was used in the Tequila demo. The author was responsible for the MPLS signaling software in both demos.

About the Author

Pim Van Heuven graduated in Computer Science at the Ghent University in 1998. In July 1998, he joined the INTEC Broadband Communications Networks (IBCN) Group where he is preparing a Ph.D. His research interests include mainly the area of Quality of Service, Traffic Engineering and Rerouting in IP. He is currently active in the IST Tequila project, before he worked on the ACTS Ithaci project. He has been a Linux enthusiast since 1996. In 2001 he open-sourced the DiffServ over MPLS for Linux project he had been working on. He published several papers on MPLS and rerouting techniques in IP and WDM networks.

Steven Van den Berghe joined IBCN in July 1999. He is focusing on measurement-based Traffic Engineering in a DiffServ/MPLS/MultiPath environment. He is also active in the IST Tequila project. He knows his way around in the Linux MPLS kernel stack and published, next to several papers, an Internet Draft on the requirements for measurement architectures for use in Traffic Engineered IP Networks.

Jan Coppens joined the IBCN group in 2001. He specializes in (Linux) Traffic Control mechanisms and is responsible for the Linux part of a generic adaptation layer (GAL), an abstraction layer for different router platforms, in the Tequila project.

Piet Demeester has been active in the research on broadband communication net works since 1992. He published over 400 papers and has been member of numerous technical program committees. His current interests include optical circuit and packet switching, network resilience, Quality of Service in IP based networks, IP based mobile and wireless networks, peer-to-peer and active networking, grid computing, network and service management.

Comments or Questions? Mail to Last change: 2005-09-17