Recent Advances in Programmable Networks: Challenges and Opportunities

A special issue of Electronics (ISSN 2079-9292). This special issue belongs to the section "Networks".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 9353

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Information and Communication Technologies engineering, University of Alcala, Alcalá de Henares Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Interests: SDN; NFV; routing; Ethernet; IoT; 5G; data center networks

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Guest Editor
ELTE, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
Interests: SDN; programmable data-planes; P4; in-network computing; QoS; resource sharing

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Guest Editor
Department of Computer Engineering and Automation, University of Campinas, Albert Einstein - 400, Cidade Universitária Zeferino Vaz CEP: 13083-852, Campinas, SP, Brazil
Interests: network architectures; SDN; NFV; P4; machine learning
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the last decade, recent paradigms and technologies, like software-defined networking (SDN), network function virtualization (NFV), and P4, have boosted network programmability, hence fostering the development of new network services and functions, many of which are core pillars in next-generation networks (like 5G and beyond).

The main aim of this Special Issue is to seek high-quality submissions related to recent advances, challenges, and/or opportunities in the field of programmable networks. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • New services and functionality developed for SDN/NFV environments
  • Network design with P4 or XDP
  • Network programmability towards 5G and beyond
  • Hybrid SDN networks
  • Programmable network (e.g., SDN, NFV, and P4) security
  • Use cases, testbeds, and demonstrators based on network programmability
  • Challenges and opportunities of programmable networks
  • Surveys about particular areas of programmable networks

Technical Program Committee Members:

1. Doctor Rashid Amin University of Engineering and Technology
2. Mr. A. S. M. Asadujjaman CIISE, Concordia University, Montreal, QC Canada

Dr. Elisa Rojas
Dr. Sándor Laki
Dr. Christian Esteve Rothenberg
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Electronics is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Programmability
  • Programmable networks
  • SDN
  • NFV
  • P4
  • XDP
  • Hybrid networks
  • 5G
  • NGN

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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22 pages, 1240 KiB  
Article
Application-Aware Flow Forwarding Service for SDN-Based Data Centers
by Jose E. Lozano-Rizk, Jose E. Gonzalez-Trejo, Raul Rivera-Rodriguez, Andrei Tchernykh, Salvador Villarreal-Reyes and Alejandro Galaviz-Mosqueda
Electronics 2022, 11(23), 3882; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics11233882 - 24 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1082
Abstract
Security and Quality of Service (QoS) in communication networks are critical factors supporting end-to-end dataflows in data centers. On the other hand, it is essential to provide mechanisms that enable different treatments for applications requiring sensitive data transfer. Both applications’ requirements can vary [...] Read more.
Security and Quality of Service (QoS) in communication networks are critical factors supporting end-to-end dataflows in data centers. On the other hand, it is essential to provide mechanisms that enable different treatments for applications requiring sensitive data transfer. Both applications’ requirements can vary according to their particular needs. To achieve their goals, it is necessary to provide services so that each application can request both the quality of service and security services dynamically and on demand. This article presents QoSS, an API web service to provide both Quality of Service and Security for applications through software-defined networks. We developed a prototype to conduct a case study to provide QoS and security. QoSS finds the optimal end-to-end path according to four optimization rules: bandwidth-aware, delay-aware, security-aware, and application requirements (considering the bandwidth, delay, packet loss, jitter, and security level of network nodes). Simulation results showed that our proposal improved end-to-end application data transfer by an average of 45%. Besides, it supports the dynamic end-to-end path configuration according to the application requirements. QoSS also logs each application’s data transfer events to enable further analysis. Full article
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15 pages, 1840 KiB  
Article
A Programmable SRv6 Processor for SFC
by Zhongpei Liu, Gaofeng Lv, Jichang Wang and Xiangrui Yang
Electronics 2022, 11(18), 2920; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics11182920 - 15 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1465
Abstract
A reconfigurable match table (RMT) is a programmable pipeline architecture for packet processing. In order to enable the programmable data plane to support segment routing IPv6 (SRv6) and other network protocols, this paper extends the deparser based on RMT. The paper uses the [...] Read more.
A reconfigurable match table (RMT) is a programmable pipeline architecture for packet processing. In order to enable the programmable data plane to support segment routing IPv6 (SRv6) and other network protocols, this paper extends the deparser based on RMT. The paper uses the extended deparser and two RMT pipelines to build a protocol-independent network slice programmable data plane model named as the programmable SRv6 processor. We design it primarily for segment identifier (SID) processing of SRv6. We have proved that it can support SRv6, multiple semantics for SIDs, micro segment ID, multi-protocol label switching, and a service function chain (SFC). This architecture has broad application prospects. Experimental results on an FPGA showed that the extended deparser could achieve 100 Gbps throughput for 512B packets with few resources. Full article
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27 pages, 1032 KiB  
Article
Model Checking-Based Performance Prediction for P4
by Dániel Lukács, Gergely Pongrácz and Máté Tejfel
Electronics 2022, 11(14), 2117; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics11142117 - 06 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1297
Abstract
Next-generation networks focus on scale and scope at the price of increasing complexity, leading to difficulties in network design and planning. As a result, anticipating all hardware- and software-related factors of network performance requires time-consuming and expensive benchmarking. This work presents a framework [...] Read more.
Next-generation networks focus on scale and scope at the price of increasing complexity, leading to difficulties in network design and planning. As a result, anticipating all hardware- and software-related factors of network performance requires time-consuming and expensive benchmarking. This work presents a framework and software tool for automatically inferring the performance of P4 programmable network switches based on the P4 source code and probabilistic models of the execution environment with the hope of eliminating the requirement of the costly set-up of networked hardware and conducting benchmarks. We designed the framework using a top-down approach. First, we transform high-level P4 programs into a representation that can be refined incrementally by adding probabilistic environment models of increasing levels of complexity in order to improve the estimation precision. Then, we use the PRISM probabilistic model checker to perform the heavy weight calculations involved in static performance prediction. We present a formalization of the performance estimation problem, detail our solution, and illustrate its usage and validation through a case study conducted using a small P4 program and the P4C-BM reference switch. We show that the framework is already capable of performing estimation, and it can be extended with more concrete information to yield better estimates. Full article
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16 pages, 910 KiB  
Article
Reliability Aware Multiple Path Installation in Software-Defined Networking
by Syed Mohsan Raza, Shohreh Ahvar, Rashid Amin and Mudassar Hussain
Electronics 2021, 10(22), 2820; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10222820 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1900
Abstract
Link failures frequently occur in communication networks, which negatively impacts network services delivery. Compared to traditional distributed networks, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) provides numerous benefits for link robustness to avoid services unavailability. To cope with link failures, the existing SDN approaches compute multiple paths [...] Read more.
Link failures frequently occur in communication networks, which negatively impacts network services delivery. Compared to traditional distributed networks, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) provides numerous benefits for link robustness to avoid services unavailability. To cope with link failures, the existing SDN approaches compute multiple paths and install corresponding flow rules at network switches without considering the reliability value of the primary computed path. This increases computation time, traffic overhead and end-to-end packets delay. This paper proposes a new approach called Reliability Aware Multiple Path Flow Rule (RAF) that calculates links reliability and installs minimum flow rules for multiple paths based on the reliability value of the primary path. RAF has been simulated, evaluated and compared with the existing approaches. The simulation results show that RAF performs better than the existing approaches in terms of computation overhead at the controller and reduces end-to-end packet delay and traffic overhead for flow rules installation. Full article
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Review

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24 pages, 529 KiB  
Review
A Comprehensive Survey of In-Band Control in SDN: Challenges and Opportunities
by David Carrascal, Elisa Rojas, Jose M. Arco, Diego Lopez-Pajares, Joaquin Alvarez-Horcajo and Juan Antonio Carral
Electronics 2023, 12(6), 1265; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics12061265 - 07 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2308
Abstract
Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is a thriving networking architecture that has gained popularity in recent years, particularly as an enabling technology to foster paradigms like edge computing. SDN separates the control and data planes, which are later on synchronised via a control protocol such [...] Read more.
Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is a thriving networking architecture that has gained popularity in recent years, particularly as an enabling technology to foster paradigms like edge computing. SDN separates the control and data planes, which are later on synchronised via a control protocol such as OpenFlow. In-band control is a type of SDN control plane deployment in which the control and data planes share the same physical network. It poses several challenges, such as security vulnerabilities, network congestion, or data loss. Nevertheless, despite these challenges, in-band control also presents significant opportunities, including improved network flexibility and programmability, reduced costs, and increased reliability. Benefiting from the previous advantages, diverse in-band control designs exist in the literature, with the objective of improving the operation of SDN networks. This paper surveys the different approaches that have been proposed so far towards the advance in in-band SDN control, based on four main categories: automatic routing, fast failure recovery, network bootstrapping, and distributed control. Across these categories, detailed summary tables and comparisons are presented, followed by a discussion on current trends a challenges in the field. Our conclusion is that the use of in-band control in SDN networks is expected to drive innovation and growth in the networking industry, but efforts for holistic and full-fledged proposals are still needed. Full article
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