A policy-based architecture for virtual network embedding
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Network virtualization is a technology that enables multiple virtual instances to coexist on a common physical network infrastructure. This paradigm fostered new business models, allowing infrastructure providers to lease or share their physical resources. Each virtual network is isolated and can be customized to support a new class of customers and applications. To this end, infrastructure providers need to embed virtual networks on their infrastructure. The virtual network embedding is the (NP-hard) problem of matching constrained virtual networks onto a physical network. Heuristics to solve the embedding problem have exploited several policies under different settings. For example, centralized solutions have been devised for small enterprise physical networks, while distributed solutions have been proposed over larger federated wide-area networks. In this thesis we present a policy-based architecture for the virtual network embedding problem. By policy, we mean a variant aspect of any of the three (invariant) embedding mechanisms: physical resource discovery, virtual network mapping, and allocation on the physical infrastructure. Our architecture adapts to different scenarios by instantiating appropriate policies, and has bounds on embedding efficiency, and on convergence embedding time, over a single provider, or across multiple federated providers. The performance of representative novel and existing policy configurations are compared via extensive simulations, and over a prototype implementation. We also present an object model as a foundation for a protocol specification, and we release a testbed to enable users to test their own embedding policies, and to run applications within their virtual networks. The testbed uses a Linux system architecture to reserve virtual node and link capacities.
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