FastRule: Efficient Flow Entry Updates for TCAM-based OpenFlow Switches

Abstract : With an increasing demand for flexible management in software-defined networks (SDNs), it becomes critical to minimize the network policy update time. Although major SDN controllers are now optimized for rapid network update at the control plane, there is still room for data plane optimization in terms of update time, when using TCAM-based physical SDN commodity-off-the-shelf switches. A slow update directly affects network performance and creates bottlenecks. To minimize flow entry update time, a dependency graph, a kind of DAG (directed acyclic graph), can be used for the access management of flow entries at the switch. Thanks to the DAG, unnecessary entry movements, which are the main factor slowing down flow entry updates, can be avoided. However, existing algorithms show limitations when updates become very frequent. We propose a new flow entry update algorithm, called FastRule, that exploits a greedy strategy with an efficient data structure to accelerate flow entry update with a DAG approach. Moreover, we also adjust our algorithm for other flow table layouts to make it scalable. We elaborate on the correctness of FastRule and test our algorithm using a hardware switch. Compared with existing algorithms, the evaluation shows that our algorithm is about 100x faster than state-of-the-art solutions with a flow table of 1k size.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02021507
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Submitted on : Saturday, March 9, 2019 - 9:45:44 PM
Last modification on : Monday, November 18, 2019 - 1:39:42 PM
Long-term archiving on: Monday, June 10, 2019 - 4:48:42 PM

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Kun Qiu, Jing Yuan, Jin Zhao, Xin Wang, Stefano Secci, et al.. FastRule: Efficient Flow Entry Updates for TCAM-based OpenFlow Switches. IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2019, 37 (3), pp.484-498. ⟨hal-02021507⟩

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