Chameleon Changelog for September 2018

Great news in Chameleon-land!


We spent the beautiful month of September dreaming up new features and modifications that you see listed below.


Jupyter Notebook Support. Some of you may have heard of Jupyter notebooks -- with Jupyter, you can provision and configure your testbed resources, run your experiment, download and process its output repeatedly, and generate paper-ready visualizations -- all within one programmable interface. To make it easier for you to use those notebooks, we integrated Jupyter with Chameleon: you go to the Chameleon JupyterHub server, log in with your Chameleon credentials, and a Jupyter Notebook server is created for you. Chameleon Jupyter notebook servers come pre-installed with useful libraries -- such as python-chi to access Chameleon services --  that you can leverage to set up your experimental resources on Chameleon and provide an interface to all common Chameleon actions such as allocating or deploying an instance. To make it easier to get started, we provide a sample Jupyter notebook that you can copy and modify to suit your experiments. Take a look at our documentation and give it a whirl -- and stay tuned for improvements to the service coming up! In the meantime though, please let us know what you think and how we can improve this feature to make it more useful to you.


New Software Defined Networking Capabilities.  We have refined the user-facing abstraction of the BYOC OpenFlow capabilities. Early BYOC adopters at University of Chicago were presented with two logical OpenFlow switches; nodes could be connected to either switch and it was hard to know which port was connected to which node making networking experiments hard to control. We now reconfigured this so that all user OpenFlow controllers will see only one logical switch (with double capacity), all nodes will be connected to this switch, and the ports in that switch will be consistently named so that the the port to node mapping is easy to control. To find out more about these improvements, read our BYOC documentation.


Usability features. Some of you have signalled that you would prefer to enter lease start and its duration rather than start and end during lease creation -- we adapted the interfaces to support this alternative. Also, to make it easier for you to keep track of your reservations, you will now receive an email reminder about advanced reservations due to start the next day and a notification if you have a new active reservation that has not been used for more than 24 hours. Finally, we added a self-update feature to cc-snapshot that will help you leverage all the new features more easily: if cc-snapshot on your appliance is not up to date, it updates itself before executing.


Finally, if any of you happen to be at LCN in Chicago this week, one of our users, Divyashri Bhat from the University of Massachusetts who contributed a fantastic methodology blog a couple of weeks ago, will have a demo of her work leveraging some of the latest Chameleon features: the BYOC controller and the Jupyter notebook integration features described above. Please, join her at the demonstration session on Tuesday,  October 2, 2018 from 15:30 until 17:30 in Salon EFG.


This is it for September -- stay tuned, we’ll come again next month with more exciting new stuff!


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