SCL: Simplifying distributed SDN control planes

Aurojit Panda, Wenting Zheng, Xiaohe Hu, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Scott Shenker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

We consider the following question: what consistency model is appropriate for coordinating the actions of a replicated set of SDN controllers? We first argue that the conventional requirement of strong consistency, typically achieved through the use of Paxos or other consensus algorithms, is conceptually unnecessary to handle unplanned network updates. We present an alternate approach, based on the weaker notion of eventual correctness, and describe the design of a simple coordination layer (SCL) that can seamlessly turn a set of single-image SDN controllers (that obey certain properties) into a distributed SDN system that achieves this goal (whereas traditional consensus mechanisms do not). We then show through analysis and simulation that our approach provides faster responses to network events. While our primary focus is on handling unplanned network updates, our coordination layer also handles policy updates and other situations where consistency is warranted. Thus, contrary to the prevailing wisdom, we argue that distributed SDN control planes need only be slightly more complicated than single-image controllers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2017
PublisherUSENIX Association
Pages329-345
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781931971379
StatePublished - 2017
Event14th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2017 - Boston, United States
Duration: Mar 27 2017Mar 29 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 14th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2017

Conference

Conference14th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2017
CountryUnited States
CityBoston
Period3/27/173/29/17

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Control and Systems Engineering

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