Integrated Scientific Workflow Management for the Emulab Network Testbed

Eric Eide, Leigh Stoller, Tim Stack, Juliana Freire, and Jay Lepreau

University of Utah, School of Computing
Flux Technical Note FTN–2006–01
February 2, 2006

A revised version of this paper was published in Proceedings of the 2006 USENIX Annual Technical Conference, Boston, MA, May-June 2006. Please read and cite the published USENIX 2006 paper in preference to this report.


The main forces that shaped current network testbeds were the needs for realism and scale. Now that several testbeds support large and complex experiments, management of experimentation processes and results has become more difficult and a barrier to high-quality systems research. The popularity of network testbeds means that new tools for managing experiment workflows, addressing the ready-made base of testbed users, can have important and significant impacts.

We are now evolving Emulab, our large and popular network testbed, to support experiments that are organized around scientific workflows. This paper summarizes the opportunities in this area, the new approaches we are taking, our implementation in progress, and the challenges in adapting scientific workflow concepts for testbed-based research. With our system, we expect to demonstrate that network testbeds with integrated scientific workflow management can be an important tool to aid research in networking and distributed systems.

Eric Eide <>
Last modified: Thu Apr 27 16:16:47 MDT 2006