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  • 1. Kuzniar, Maciej
    et al.
    Peresini, Peter
    Kostic, Dejan
    KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Communication Systems, CoS, Network Systems Laboratory (NS Lab). KTH, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS).
    Canini, Marco
    KAUST.
    Methodology, Measurement and Analysis of Flow Table Update Characteristics in Hardware OpenFlow Switches2018In: Computer Networks, ISSN 1389-1286, E-ISSN 1872-7069Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and OpenFlow are actively being standardized and deployed. These deployments rely on switches that come from various vendors and differ in terms of performance and available features. Understanding these differences and performance characteristics is essential for ensuring successful and safe deployments.

    We propose a systematic methodology for SDN switch performance analysis and devise a series of experiments based on this methodology. The methodology relies on sending a stream of rule updates, while relying on both observing the control plane view as reported by the switch and probing the data plane state to determine switch characteristics by comparing these views. We measure, report and explain the performance characteristics of flow table updates in six hardware OpenFlow switches. Our results describing rule update rates can help SDN designers make their controllers efficient. Further, we also highlight differences between the OpenFlow specification and its implementations, that if ignored, pose a serious threat to network security and correctness.

  • 2. Peresini, Peter
    et al.
    Kuzniar, Maciej
    Kostic, Dejan
    KTH, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Communication Systems, CoS, Network Systems Laboratory (NS Lab).
    Dynamic, Fine-Grained Data Plane Monitoring with Monocle2018In: IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, ISSN 1063-6692, E-ISSN 1558-2566, Vol. 26, no 1, p. 534-547Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ensuring network reliability is important for satisfying service-level objectives. However, diagnosing network anomalies in a timely fashion is difficult due to the complex nature of network configurations. We present Monocle — a system that uncovers forwarding problems due to hardware or software failures in switches, by verifying that the data plane corresponds to the view that an SDN controller installs via the control plane. Monocle works by systematically probing the switch data plane; the probes are constructed by formulating the switch forwarding table logic as a Boolean satisfiability (SAT) problem. Our SAT formulation quickly generates probe packets targeting a particular rule considering both existing and new rules. Monocle can monitor not only static flow tables (as is currently typically the case), but also dynamic networks with frequent flow table changes. Our evaluation shows that Monocle is capable of fine-grained monitoring for the majority of rules, and it can identify a rule suddenly missing from the data plane or misbehaving in a matter of seconds. In fact, during our evaluation Monocle uncovered problems with two hardware switches that we were using in our evaluation. Finally, during network updates Monocle helps controllers cope with switches that exhibit transient inconsistencies between their control and data plane states.

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