Safe Update of Hybrid SDN Networks
Xie, Geoffrey G.
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The support for safe network updates, i.e., live modification of device behavior without service disruption, is a critical primitive for current and future networks. Several techniques have been proposed by previous works to implement such a primitive. Unfortunately, existing techniques are not generally applicable to any network architecture, and typically require high overhead e.g., additional memory to guarantee strong consistency i.e., traversal of either initial or final paths, but never a mix of them during the update. In this paper, we deeply study the problem of computing operational sequences to safely and quickly update arbitrary networks. We characterize cases, for which this computation is easy, and revisit previous algorithmic contributions in the new light of our theoretical findings. We also propose and thoroughly evaluate a generic sequence-computation approach, based on two new algorithms that we combine to overcome limitations of prior proposals. Our approach always finds an operational sequence that provably guarantees strong consistency throughout the update, with very limited overhead. Moreover, it can be applied to update networks running any combination of centralized and distributed control-planes, including different families of IGPs, OpenFlow or other SDN protocols, and hybrid SDN networks. Our approach therefore supports a large set of use cases, ranging from traffic engineering in IGP-only or SDN-only networks to incremental SDN roll-out and advanced requirements e.g., per-flow path selection or dynamic network function virtualization in partial SDN deployments.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TNET.2016.2642586
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