“On the Design of Practical Fault-Tolerant SDN Controllers”
in Proceedings of the 3rd European Workshop on Software Defined Networks (EWSDN), Budapest, Hungary, Sept. 2014.
Abstract: The increase in the number of SDN-based deployments in production networks is triggering the need to consider fault-tolerant designs of controller architectures. Commercial SDN controller solutions incorporate fault tolerance, but there has been little discussion in the SDN community on the design of such systems and the tradeoffs involved. To fill this gap, we present a by-construction design of a fault-tolerant controller, and materialize it by proposing and formalizing a practical architecture for small to medium-sized networks. A central component of our design is a replicated shared database that stores all network state. Contrary to the more common primary-backup approaches, the proposed design guarantees a smooth transition in case of failures and avoids the need of an additional coordination service. Our preliminary results show that the performance of our solution fulfills the demands of the target networks. We hope this work to be a first step in what we consider a necessary discussion on how to build robust SDNs.
Research line(s): Fault and Intrusion Tolerance in Open Distributed Systems (FIT)