Architecture SURFnet testbed

The SURFnet testbed consists of 5 Points of Presence (PoPs). The locations have 40G/10G OpenFlow switches and a bare metal server or OpenStack mini-cloud. Between each pair of OpenFlow switches there are three path-redundant 10G connections.

SURFnet testbed architecture

The SURFnet testbed consists of 5 Points of Presence (PoPs) in Amsterdam, Delft, Enschede, Groningen and Leiden. Each location has a 40G/10G OpenFlow switch and a bare metal server or OpenStack mini-cloud. There are three path-redundant 10G connections between each pair of OpenFlow switches.

The servers are connected using OpenFlow switches with 4 x 10G links. These servers can be used to send traffic and for experimentation with network function virtualisation (NFV) etc.

Available equipment

In the SURFnet testbed a number of Supermicro servers are available with different specifications, including a Supermicro 6028R-TR 2U server with the following specification:

  • X10DRi motherboard
  • 2 x Intel xeon E5-2680v3
  • 256 GB DDR4 2133 MHz ECC Reg

There are a number of network interface controllers available for these Supermicro servers, including:

  • Intel XL710-QDA2, 2-port 40 GbE
  • Mellanox ConnectX-3 MCX314A-BCBT, 2-port 40 GbE
  • Mellanox ConnectX-4 MCX416A-CCAT, 2-port 100 GbE

There are also a number of white label switches on which various network interface controllers can be loaded using an ONIE boot loader. We have EdgeCore AS5712 (40 GbE) and EdgeCore AS7712 (100 GbE) switches, among others.

Finally, there is a NoviFlow 2128 OpenFlow switch based on a Mellanox (EZchip) NP-5 NPU and a Corsa DP2200 that is based on FPGAs.

Your own equipment in the SURFnet testbed

Users of the SURFnet testbed can temporarily install their own equipment that they want to test in the SURFnet testbed. We prefer to do this in Amsterdam, where we have the most space for extra equipment. If a network connection is needed between the SURFnet testbed and your own institution, then we can look together at how we can provide that.

Get started with the SURFnet testbed

If you would like to use the SURFnet testbed send an email to Ronald van der Pol, at

Latest modifications 27 Nov 2017