Managing NFV using SDN and control theory
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CitationAkhtar, Nabeel; Matta, Ibrahim; Wang, Yuefeng. Managing NFV using SDN and Control Theory. Technical Report BU-CS-TR 2015-013, Computer Science Department, Boston University, December 14, 2015.
Control theory and SDN (Software Defined Networking) are key components for NFV (Network Function Virtualization) deployment. However little has been done to use a control-theoretic approach for SDN and NFV management. In this paper, we describe a use case for NFV management using control theory and SDN. We use the management architecture of RINA (a clean-slate Recursive InterNetwork Architecture) to manage Virtual Network Function (VNF) instances over the GENI testbed. We deploy Snort, an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) as the VNF. Our network topology has source and destination hosts, multiple IDSes, an Open vSwitch (OVS) and an OpenFlow controller. A distributed management application running on RINA measures the state of the VNF instances and communicates this information to a Proportional Integral (PI) controller, which then provides load balancing information to the OpenFlow controller. The latter controller in turn updates traffic flow forwarding rules on the OVS switch, thus balancing load across the VNF instances. This paper demonstrates the benefits of using such a control-theoretic load balancing approach and the RINA management architecture in virtualized environments for NFV management. It also illustrates that GENI can easily support a wide range of SDN and NFV related experiments.