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Bug#321999: ITP: vde -- virtual distributed ethernet

On Tue, Aug 09, 2005 at 07:19:23AM +0200, Guus Sliepen wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 08, 2005 at 06:47:14PM +0200, Piotr Roszatycki wrote:
> > VDE is a virtual network that can be spawned over a set of physical computer
> > over the Internet
> > 
> > VDE connects together: (1) real GNU-linux boxes (tuntap) (2) virtual machines:
> > UML-User Mode Linux, qemu, bochs, MPS.
> > 
> > VDE can be used: (i) to create a general purpose tunnel (every protocol that
> > runs on a Ethernet can be put into the tunnel) (ii) to connect a set of
> > virtual machine to the Internet with no need of free access of tuntap (iii) to
> > support mobility: a VDE can stay interconnected despite of the change of
> > virtual cables, i.e. the change of IP addresses and interface in the real
> > world
> I don't object to choice in Debian, but I am wondering why VDE has been
> created when there are alternatives like OpenVPN, tinc and GVPE, which
> can all tunnel Ethernet over the Internet and work like a switch as
> well. Tinc can even work with UML sockets (and since GVPE can use some of
> tinc's components, it can probably be compiled to do so as well). Both
> tinc and GVPE let you specify endpoints, both tools will automatically
> create a full mesh of tunnels. The performance of OpenVPN, tinc and GVPE
> will probably also be better because they use UDP instead of TCP streams
> (like you would get with dpipe = ssh).
VDE does not use any TCP stream. VDE cables are composed by vde_plugs,
provided by the project, and wires that are not part of VDE.
You can use any program able to trasmit packets as "wire".
If you use netcat instead of ssh you use UDP streams.

VDE does now require any root access to run. This is extremely useful
in my University labs where students can run any kind of mesh of
eterogeneous virtual machines and interconnect them together.
Obviously nobody but system adminsitrators have root access in the labs!

The projects you mentioned are wonderful and very interesting.
THey are all tunneling tools, tailored to interconnect real machines
in IP mode (tun) and also in tap mode if needed.
THey are all designed for system administrators, and they have not
specifically designed to interconnect any kind of virtual machines.

We have also designed a "partial virtual machine" able to interconnect
one UNIX process or a group of processes to a VDE network.
Each process or group of processes can have its IP address.
NO need for root access neither for this.

Have a look of View-OS project on Savannah....
View-OS is able to make partial virtual machines not just for networking
but also for file system access and soon for many other features.

> Renzo, perhaps it might be worthwile to combine your efforts with one
> of these projects? GVPE comes closest to VDE.
> http://openvpn.net/
> http://www.tinc-vpn.org/
> http://savannah.gnu.org/projects/gvpe/
> -- 
> Met vriendelijke groet / with kind regards,
>     Guus Sliepen <guus@sliepen.eu.org>


Renzo Davoli				| Dept. of Computer Science
(NIC rd235, HAM IZ4DJE)                 | University of Bologna	
Tel. +39 051 2094501			| Mura Anteo Zamboni, 7
Fax. +39 051 2094510			| I-40127 Bologna  ITALY
Key fingerprint = A019 17E2 5562 06F6 77BB  2E93 1A01 F646 30EA B487

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