RASCAR: Recovery-Aware Switch-Controller Assignment and Routing in SDN

Abstract

Decoupling control and data planes in a software-defined network (SDN) has its advantages along with its challenges. Especially, resilient communication between elements in the data plane (switches) and in the control plane (controllers) is key to SDN's success as disruption of this communication after a failure can severely affect data-plane functions. After a failure, simultaneous recovery of all switch-controller communication paths (control paths) may not be possible, and multiple recovery stages may be required. Since restoration of disrupted data paths depends on the recovery of disrupted control paths feeding control information to switches, the performance of control-path recovery seriously affects data-path recovery performance. The assignment of controller to switches and the routing of controller-switch control paths are what determines the control-plane recovery performance, and hence should be performed in conjunction with a recovery plan after failures. This study proposes an algorithm for recovery-aware switch-controller assignment and routing (RASCAR), which enables fast data-path recovery after a set of failures (e.g., single point of failures and disasters). We formulate the problem as an integer linear program and propose an efficient heuristic algorithm to solve large problem instances. Our illustrative numerical studies show that RASCAR significantly reduces the data-path restoration times after any failure with a minor increase in resource consumption of control paths

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