Software-defined networking with services oriented by domain names


Software-defined networking (SDN) has provided a new paradigm for network management by allowing a central controller to program the underlying switches directly. However, OpenFlow, the de facto standard API for communicating with the switches, has limited visibility into the network headers, hindering innovations in the data plane and overloading the controller when a more sophisticated network application is needed. In this work, we leverage existing capabilities of modern switches to increase the abstraction power of OpenFlow and enrich the functionalities performed on the data plane of a network. We present an architecture that extends OpenFlow to support matching rules with domain names and provides data-plane operations that are only supported by the controller in existing approaches. Our architecture provides a better abstraction for programming the network and enables more concise policy specifications by requiring fewer rules in the switch flow table. To realize our architecture, we developed a prototype of a switch and a controller to handle the domain name extensions. We presented an application use case for blocking unwanted traffic required for Telecom companies. Our experimental results show that our solution reduces latency, number of rules in the switch, and number of packets sent to the controller. We also show that the new abstraction we provide can significantly reduce the code size of a network application.

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The authors would like to thank the research agencies CNPq, CAPES and FAPEMIG for their financial support.

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Correspondence to Marcos A. M. Vieira.

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Silva, L.A.M., Vieira, M.A.M., Guedes, D. et al. Software-defined networking with services oriented by domain names. Telecommun Syst 74, 67–82 (2020).

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  • Computer networks
  • Software-defined networking
  • OpenFlow
  • DNS
  • Telecom