Dependability modeling of Software Defined Networking

TitleDependability modeling of Software Defined Networking
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsLongo, F., S. Distefano, D. Bruneo, and M. Scarpa
JournalComputer Networks
KeywordsAvailability, Complex networks, Controllers, Degree of distributions, Distributed components, Electric network topology, Information dissemination, Markov processes, Networking infrastructure, Non-Markovian, Quality control, Quality of service, Random processes, Reliability, Reliability and availability, Software defined networking (SDN), Software reliability, Software-defined networkings, Stochastic models, Stochastic systems, Topology, Type expansions

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a new network design paradigm that aims at simplifying the implementation of complex networking infrastructures by separating the forwarding functionalities (data plane) from the network logical control (control plane). Network devices are used only for forwarding, while decisions about where data is sent are taken by a logically centralized yet physically distributed component, i.e., the SDN controller. From a quality of service (QoS) point of view, an SDN controller is a complex system whose operation can be highly dependent on a variety of parameters, e.g., its degree of distribution, the corresponding topology, the number of network devices to control, and so on. Dependability aspects are particularly critical in this context. In this work, we present a new analytical modeling technique that allows us to represent an SDN controller whose components are organized in a hierarchical topology, focusing on reliability and availability aspects and overcoming issues and limitations of Markovian models. In particular, our approach allows to capture changes in the operating conditions (e.g., in the number of managed devices) still allowing to represent the underlying phenomena through generally distributed events. The dependability of a use case on a two-layer hierarchical SDN control plane is investigated through the proposed technique providing numerical results to demonstrate the feasibility of the approach. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.