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HyperFlow: A Distributed Control Plane for OpenFlow

By Amin Tootoonchian and Yashar Ganjali


OpenFlow assumes a logically centralized controller, which ideally can be physically distributed. However, current deployments rely on a single controller which has major drawbacks including lack of scalability. We present HyperFlow, a distributed event-based control plane for OpenFlow. HyperFlow is logically centralized but physically distributed: it provides scalability while keeping the benefits of network control centralization. By passively synchronizing network-wide views of OpenFlow controllers, HyperFlow localizes decision making to individual controllers, thus minimizing the control plane response time to data plane requests. HyperFlow is resilient to network partitioning and component failures. It also enables interconnecting independently managed OpenFlow networks, an essential feature missing in current OpenFlow deployments. We have implemented HyperFlow as an application for NOX. Our implementation requires minimal changes to NOX, and allows reuse of existing NOX applications with minor modifications. Our preliminary evaluation shows that, assuming sufficient control bandwidth, to bound the window of inconsistency among controllers by a factor of the delay between the farthest controllers, the network changes must occur at a rate lower than 1000 events per second across the network. 1

Year: 2011
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