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This paper argues that a new class of geographically distributed network services is emerging, and that the most effective way to design, evaluate, and deploy these services is by using an overlay - based testbed. Unlike conventional network testbeds, however, the authors advocate an approach that supports both researchers that want to develop new services and clients that want to use them. This dual use, in turn, suggests four design principles that are not widely supported in existing testbeds: services should be able to run continuously and access a slice of the overlay's resources, control over resources should be distribute, overlay management services should be unbundled and run in their own slices, and APIs should be designed to promote application development.
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