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BEN Technical Overview PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Heermann   
Monday, 30 June 2008 03:25

 Remote Control of Electric Power

 BEN enables an experimenter to remotely control the electrical power supplied to an experimental device. In support of research, it permits a device to be rebooted to a known initial state by providing user level access to the device that controls power distribution.


Fundamentally, the design of this hierarchical power distribution method is based on a tiered control of power given to the authority hosting the engagement site and the BEN research community. The hosting authority (Duke, NCSU, UNC, Renci) provides tier 1 level of control, which directly interfaces to the power plant and provides for the highest level of control over the electrical power being supplied. It’s necessary for security and operational purposes. BEN experimenters are provided tier 2 level of control, which enables direct power control over the device for experimental, testing and operational purposes. The figure below helps illustrate the concept.




Hierarchical Power Distribution enables BEN experimenters to remotely control power without affecting normal operation of the power being distributed by the hosting authority


Tier2 implementation includes a power transfer switch configured to support individual logins with restricted access for both 208VAC and 120VAC devices.


Out-of-band Network Management

BEN’s management network is implemented using VPN services provided through IPSec over NCREN’s production network. The breakable nature of BEN does not ensure a consistently reliable transport for network management, which emphasizes the need for production services made available over NCREN. The illustration below provides a logical view for implementing out-of-band network connectivity between BEN nodes.



Out-of-band network management is facilitated using an IPSec security appliance configured in a full mesh of IPSec tunnels over NCREN production infrastructure


Private IP addressing and dynamic routing (via IPSec tunnels) are used between the engagement sites to provide reliable access to BEN and its experiments.

Remote Access

Remote access enables connectivity to BEN’s network resources, as well as console access to experimental devices and network connectivity to remotely control power. Access to BEN is based on commodity Internet availability to instantiate a dynamic VPN to connect to BEN or alternatively use SSH to connect to an established server that serves as an on-ramp to the experimental network.

Fiber Characteristics

For detailed fiber map and fiber characteristics please refer to the BEN Fiber Characteristics.


Last Updated ( Friday, 01 August 2008 03:06 )