Peer-to-peer overlay networks and applications in virtual networks and virtual clusters


The research and development focuses on self-organizing, peer-to-peer virtual IP overlays with the objective of enabling seamless deployment and use of virtual networks that support existing, unmodified operating systems and TCP/IP applications. It builds upon and extends the self-configuring IP-over-P2P (IPOP) overlay system developed at the University of Florida, which enables scalable, robust, self-configuring virtual network overlays interconnecting physical or virtual resources within a LAN or across a WAN (even in the presence of NATs and firewalls), and supports IPsec-based virtual private networking. This project has the following focus activities: * Cybersecurity: self-organizing VPN (virtual private network) links and name resolution by integrating infrastructures such as online social networks (to establish trust and store public-key cryptographic credentials) and decentralized overlays (for resource discovery and routing of IP packets); * Resource discovery in distributed systems: techniques to efficiently support self-configuring multicast trees and unstructured queries for resource discovery in overlay networks and IP-over-P2P virtual networks; * Applications in cloud computing: Integration with virtual machines and performance enhancements

Intellectual Merit

This project contributes to the body of knowledge in the areas of social networking, resource virtualization, and self-managing systems. In addition, it contributes to the understanding of complex systems which emerge from the establishment of ad-hoc social virtual networks through quantitative measurements --- our developed systems will be deployed in realistic wide-area infrastructures. We will investigate self-organizing IP overlays which allow secure communication among peers connected by a social network to significantly simplify trust management in ad-hoc VOs. The research will also address the challenge of scalable discovery of resources and develop decentralized, self-configuring scheduling techniques making it possible for such ad-hoc systems to be deployed without burdening any particular peer in the pool with the requirement of being managed as a dedicated server.

Broader Impact

This project has the potential for transformative impact in the adoption of CI technologies by groups who are currently unable to effectively use CI due to lack of resources, funds and IT expertise. Implementations of the proposed approach will build upon existing systems developed by the PI.

Use of FutureGrid

FutureGrid will be used in experiments that evaluate various aspects of performance and scalability of P2P overlay networks, virtual networks, and virtual clusters.

Scale Of Use

Scalability experiments may use several hundred cores, potentially distributed across multiple sites. Each experiment often take of the order of a few hours to be conducted.


FutureGrid has been instrumental as a platform for experimental research in this project. FutureGrid allowed experiments on virtual networks based on the IP-over-P2P (IPOP) overlay and GroupVPN, the MatchTree P2P resource discovery system, and Grid appliances that would not otherwise have been feasible - with FutureGrid, graduate student researchers in this project were able to deploy in a systematic way wide-area overlays with virtual machine instances that self-organized as nodes of distributed virtual private clusters. In terms of impact, the results from the research activities in this project have been published or accepted for publication in major conferences and journals, including the High Performance Distributed and Parallel Computing (HPDC) conference, the TeraGrid/XSEDE conference, and the Future Generation Computer Systems (FGCS) journal. In addition, the experiments on FutureGrid helped in the evaluation of IPOP/GroupVPN, and led to improvements and refinements in the Grid appliance system, which have been used in other FutureGrid research and education projects, and helped solidify collaborations with international partners interested in using virtual networks (PRAGMA, Contrail) which are being pursued by UF investigators.
Renato Figueiredo
University of Florida

Project Members

David Wolinsky
Kyungyong Lee
Pierre St Juste
Shuo Jia

Project Alumni

John Gibson


1 year 42 weeks ago