Lehrstuhl für Informatik III

    Journal Article: Analytical Model for SDN Signaling Traffic and Flow Table Occupancy and its Application for Various Types of Traffic


    An extended version of our paper "Analytic Model for SDN Controller Traffic and Switch Table Occupancy" will be published in the next issue of the IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management.

    Software Defined Networking (SDN) has emerged as a promising networking paradigm overcoming various drawbacks of current communication networks. The control and data plane of switching devices is decoupled and control functions are centralized at the network controller. In SDN, each new flow introduces additional signaling traffic between the switch and the controller. Based on this traffic, rules are created in the flow table of the switch, which specify the forwarding behavior. To avoid table overflows, unused entries are removed after a predefined time-out period. Given a specific traffic mix, the choice of this time-out period affects the trade-off between signaling rate and table occupancy. As a result, network operators have to adjust this parameter to enable a smooth and efficient network operation. Due to the complexity of this problem caused by the various traffic flows in a network, a suitable abstraction is necessary in order to derive valid parameter values in time. The contribution of this work is threefold. Firstly, we formulate a simple analytical model that allows optimizing the network performance with respect to the table occupancy and the signaling rate. Secondly, we validate the model by means of simulation. Thirdly, we illustrate the impact of the time-out period on the signaling traffic and the flow table occupancy for different data-plane traffic mixes and characteristics. This includes scenarios with single application instances, as well as multiple application instances of different application types in an SDN-enabled network.