Lancaster University Testbed

The Lancaster University (UoLan) testbed is designed to support extensive experimentation capabilities with respect to VNF and network programmability. The testbed offers a large OSM/OpenStack cluster equipped with >300 CPU cores, 8 TB of memory and a multi-Tbit network storage service. The cluster is interconnected using 10 and 40 GbE NICs with passthrough and DPDK capabilities, and a multi-vendor SDN network (NEC, EdgeCore, Pica8, Corsa) with extensive metering and traffic prioritization capabilities. Testbed users can access our DataPlaneBroker network manager service, to deploy point-to-point and point-to-multipoint overlay networks with precise QoS control. Furthermore, the UoLan testbed offers access to the production SDN network of Infolab21, offering OpenFlow 1.3 and slicing support. Additionally, the testbed provides P4 programmability through a range of software, FPGA, NPU and ASIC devices with P4 support.

The UoLan facility interconnects the Initiate testbed with a range of novel 5G application environments, including rural broadband, industrial control systems, and smart grid. UoLan maintains a direct 10 GbE connection with B4RN (Broadband for the Rural North Ltd.), a community-based rural broadband ISP, providing gigabit broadband access to more than 5000 residences in rural areas of North West England. In parallel, UoLan hosts a  novel TV White Space (TVWS) testbed combining communications infrastructure operating in the TV white space spectrum with distributed NFV compute capabilities the network edge. The infrastructure allows for experimentation and evaluation of TVWS as the basis for future 5G rural access networks.

Furthermore, UoLan hosts an extensive Industrial Control System (ICS) testbed, designed to support and used extensively to conduct cyber-physical security. The ICS facility contains three network control systems: a three-stage off-the-shelf water treatment training rig from Gunt2, a model factory from Fishertechnik3 and a building management system (Trend IQ4e main controller and sub-field Trend IQ3 PLC). Finally, UoLan interconnects the Initiate testbed with the Easyres smart grid, a European experimental ICT infrastructure providing secure ancillary services to distributed renewable energy systems across Europe.