Experimentation Networks

RNP places at the disposal of networks and distributed systems researchers and students several resources to support experimental studies of new network services and architectures. Such resources include the PlanetLab and Fibre environments.


PlanetLab is a worldwide experimentation network that allows the development of new network services. Since 2003, over 1 thousand researchers from academic institutions and industrial laboratories have used PlanetLab to develop new technologies for distributed storage, network mapping, P2P systems, distributed hash tables (DHT), among other applications.

The laboratory currently consists of nearly 1,000 nodes hosted in over 500 sites, providing distributed processing and storage resources for the development of projects in long-range networks, which could hardly be built in a single institution. With that, it allows the development and experimental testing, under actual network conditions, of large-scale applications and services.

RNP became a partner of the project in 2004, with the implementation of three nodes in the RNP’s Points of Presence in Rio de Janeiro, Ceara and Rio Grande do Sul. More recently, the equipment in these nodes were renovated and a fourth node was added, in the state of Para.

How it works

In exchange for the resources’ assignment to PlanetLab, RNP may allocate slices (network fractions) at the laboratory, to be distributed among its users. When in control of a slice, the user has access to all resources of all nodes that make up PlanetLab’s network. It is up to the controller to define which resources shall be part of his or her slice, according to the application and the experiment thereof.

Each slice lasts for two months, which period can be renewed. The Brazilian academic network users may have access to the environment through RNP, submitting a project proposal. Given that the resources are limited, the requests are appraised by the Laboratory of Computer Networks and Architecture (LARC). Once they are approved, a slice is generated to host the project. As many accounts as are necessary can be created in the same slice, so that the participants can also work in such environment.

Project submission template

Fibre Environment

Created in the Fibre project, this environment, which shall be available from the 2nd semester of 2014 onwards, shall allow the user conducting the experiment to set up a virtual network typology interconnecting virtual storage and computing resources dedicated to the experiment, in order to explore, in real scale, proposals of architectures and service models.