SDN and NFV enabled service function multicast mechanisms over hybrid infrastructure

  • Bo Yi
  • Xingwei Wang
  • Min Huang
  • Lianbo Ma
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Issue on Software Defined Networking: Trends, Challenges and Prospective Smart Solutions


Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) are two new paradigms which can accelerate service provisioning. Specifically, NFV decouples proprietary network functions from the hardware and implements them in the form of software which is referred to as Virtual Network Function (VNF). In this way, NFV offers great flexibility for service composition and provision. SDN decouples network control from data forwarding and provides a centralized orchestrator for managing and guiding the provision process of services. However, in the context of SDN and NFV, most researches focus on provisioning the unicast service, while the multicast service provision problem lacks sufficient research. The NFV-enabled multicast is important, which involves not only constructing the multicast topology, deploying and chaining VNFs, but also steering traffic through required VNFs before reaching destinations. In this paper, we propose three efficient heuristics to solve the static, dynamic and scalable multicast problems in the context of SDN and NFV. In particular, the static multicast means that end users do not join or leave the multicast session until it ends, while the dynamic multicast means that end users can join or leave dynamically. The scalable multicast means that network functions can be added to or removed from the multicast service dynamically. The novel strategy of the three heuristics is decoupling traffic forwarding and function deployment. With the decoupling, NFV-enabled multicast can be implemented in multiple stages, during which we can achieve a certain extent of reliability by selectively deploying multiple function instances of the same type. In addition, such decoupling also enables adding or removing functions for multicast services easily, which means that we can also achieve a certain extent of function scalability. The experiment results are achieved under the hybrid environment and show that the proposed heuristics can effectively address the multicast problem in the context of SDN and NFV.


Software-defined networking Network function virtualization Service function multicast Virtual network function Reliability Scalability 



This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 61572123, the Major International (Regional) Joint Research Project of NSFC under Grant No. 71620107003, the National Science Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholars of China under Grant No. 71325002, the Foundation for Innovative Research Groups of National Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 61621004, the MoE and ChinaMobile Joint Research Fund under No. MCM20160201, and the Program for Liaoning Innovative Research Term in University under Grant No. LT2016007.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Computer Science and EngineeringNortheastern UniversityShenyangChina
  2. 2.College of SoftwareNortheastern UniversityShenyangChina
  3. 3.College of Information Science and Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Synthetical Automation for Process IndustriesNortheastern UniversityShenyangChina

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