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VirtuRAMA - Virtual Routers: Architecture, Management and Applications

Virtual Routers - Architecture, Management, Applications

Project Description

As part of the G-Lab experimental platform, the VirtuRAMA project aims at establishing link and router virtualization as a fundamental building block for the Future Internet. Our goal is to demonstrate that the virtualization paradigm holds the potential to solving a number of significant architectural problems of today’s Internet. We expect that the flexibility offered by virtualization will significantly contribute to a sustainable Internet architecture and lay the foundation for new applications,  services and business cases not conceivable today.

The VirtuRAMA consortium consists of the Institute for Communications Technology (IKT) at the Leibniz Universität Hannover, Tixel GmbH (TXG), LambdaNet Communications (LNC) and the Multimedia Communications Lab (KOM) at the Technische Universität Darmstadt.

Project lead:  Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Fidler, Prof. Dr. Panagiotis Papadimitriou

Project Goals

Extensibility, resource isolation and high performance of virtual routers are crucial for the success of an Internet virtualization layer. To this end, the IKT aims at developing a flexible virtual router architecture, taking into account characteristic requirements of network components. In addition, the IKT is working on mechanisms for transparently migrating virtual routers between physical machines. This so-called live-migration enables novel network management approaches, such as resource consolidation, infrastructure adaptation to changing customer demands, and energy conservation during off-peak hours. In addition, management concepts and tools will be created which facilitate the operation of virtual networks and services.

Complementing the work on migratable virtual routers, so-called WAN on demand services are being developed by TXG and LNC, which will allow customers to dynamically reserve multi Gigabit connections, thus leading to a significant cost reduction when compared to static links widely employed today. Typical use cases include HD video conferencing, large database backups or raw data transfers for the film industry. In addition to necessary transmission and signalling protocols, novel business cases, as well as middleware for network control and visualization are being designed.

An additional focus of the VirtuRAMA project lies on the fusion of underlay and overlay networks (e.g. peer-to-peer applications) as a means of increasing performance and introducing quality of service. At KOM, the applicability of overlay algorithms to virtual routers is being evaluated, potentially allowing these to be used as an alternative to IP routing in specific scenarios. 

The developed mechanisms and applications will be experimentally verified in the G-Lab platform. Additionally, our virtual router implementation and bandwidth reservation protocols will be tested in LNC's european fiber core network, thereby demonstrating the feasibility of the developed solutions under real-world conditions.


  • The prototype of the VIRTURAMA platform was presented at CeBIT '12 in Hanover and at the Future Internet workshop of Bitkom Akademie, Cologne, March 2012.
  • Live-migration of Virtual Router Services (Video cast)
  • Automated VRS migration (Video cast)

Standard commodity servers with NetFPGA cards running OpenFlow / NOX integrated in real-world environment.



Zdravko Bozakov: "Architecture and Algorithms for Virtual Routers as a Service". In Proceedings of ACM/IEEE International Workshop on Quality of Service (IWQoS) 2011, San Jose, USA, June 2011.

Osama Abboud, Konstantin Pussep, Dominik Stingl, Ralf Steinmetz: "Media-aware Networking for SVC-based P2P Streaming." In Network and Operating System Support for Digital Audio and Video (NOSSDAV) 2011, ACM, June 2011. (pdf)

Ahmed Abujoda: "Network Measurement in Virtualized Networks and its Challenges " 6th GI/ITG KuVS Workshop on  Future Internet, Hannover, November 2010

Zdravko Bozakov: "Towards Virtual Routers as a Service" 6th GI/ITG KuVS Workshop on  Future Internet, Hannover, November 2010

Osama Abboud, Konstantin Pussep, Aleksandra Kovacevic, Ralf Steinmetz: "Router Virtualization as an Enabler for Future Internet Multimedia Applications", 6th GI/ITG KuVS Workshop on  Future Internet, Hannover, November 2010 (pdf)

Osama Abboud, Konstantin Pussep, Markus Müller, Aleksandra Kovacevic, Ralf Steinmetz: "Advanced Prefetching and Upload Strategies for P2P Video-on-Demand". In the proceedings of the ACM Workshop on Advanced video streaming techniques for peer-to-peer networks and social networking, October 2010 (pdf)

Osama Abboud, Thomas Zinner, Konstantin Pussep, Simon Oechsner, Ralf Steinmetz, Phuoc Tran-Gia: "A QoE-Aware P2P Streaming System Using Scalable Video Coding". In: IEEE International Conference on Peer-to-Peer Computing 2010 (pdf)

Zdravko Bozakov: "An Open Router Virtualization Framework using a Programmable Forwarding Plane", SIGCOMM'10 Poster Session, New Delhi, India, August 2010 (abstract)

Zdravko Bozakov: "Service Characterization for Virtual Routers", EuroView 2010, Würzburg, August 2010

David Dietrich: "On-demand Bandwidth Scaling using Redundant Routers", 5th GI/ITG KuVS Workshop on The Future Internet, Stuttgart, June 2010

Michael Bredel, Zdravko Bozakov and Yuming Jiang: "Analysing Router Performance Using Network Calculus with External Measurements", International Workshop on Quality of Service (IWQoS) 2010, Beijing, China, June 2010 (pdf)

Zdravko Bozakov: "Virtual Software Routers: A Performance and Migration Study", DFN-Forum, Konstanz, Germany, May 2010

Zdravko Bozakov and Aris Galatis: "Performance and Migration Evaluation of Virtual Software Routers", 4th GI/ITG KuVS Workshop on The Future Internet, Zürich, Switzerland, November 2009

Further Information




BMBF-Förderkennzeichen: 01BK0920