Open source software and systems have attracted significant attention from both development and research circles during the past decade. Availability of open access software has lead to activity in research community fostering innovation and development of new technologies. Same is true for internet architecture; open source simulators have made it possible to test the performance of new architectures and algorithms.
The drive for open source is leading towards an open ecosystem; counter to one that has been proprietary and close for innovative ideas. This is not the case for internet infrastructure as standardization of internet protocols makes it hard for researchers to introduce new algorithms.
Different vendors have different proprietary interests and many a times, they intend to keep the infrastructure and network policy issues in their control as long as possible thus making internet infrastructure closed to innovation. Though a lot of capacity is available at our disposal within the internet cloud, most of it may not be dedicatedly available due to service provider and regulatory policies. Thus, it leads to an infrastructure that is not suitable for innovation and is proprietary. Similarly, a wide variety of wired and wireless networks are available in the ecosystem though the proprietary rights of vendors make it difficult to switch between these architectures.
To overcome this hurdle, we envision a world in which users can move freely between different infrastructures while keeping the interests of internet bearers/Telco’s intact. For this purpose, various research initiatives focus on separating network services from underlying physical infrastructures. This way, researchers can innovate and contribute new network services for equipment, vendors and third party developers. One way to achieve this is through state of the art devices and networks open to researchers where they can innovate and experiment new network algorithms and services in physical environments and put them forth for benefit of wider research community. This project is themed around the same concept.