Transition to SDN is HARMLESS: Hybrid ARchitecture for Migrating Legacy Ethernet Switches to SDN

Csikor, L., Szalay, M., Rétvári, G., Pongrácz, G., Pezaros, D. P. and Toka, L. (2020) Transition to SDN is HARMLESS: Hybrid ARchitecture for Migrating Legacy Ethernet Switches to SDN. IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, (doi: 10.1109/TNET.2019.2958762) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) offers a new way to operate, manage, and deploy communication networks and to overcome many long-standing problems of legacy networking. However, widespread SDN adoption has not occurred yet due to the lack of a viable incremental deployment path and the relatively immature present state of SDN-capable devices on the market. While continuously evolving software switches may alleviate the operational issues of commercial hardware-based SDN offerings, namely lagging standards-compliance, performance regressions, and poor scaling, they fail to match the cost-efficiency and port density. In this paper, we propose HARMLESS, a new SDN switch design that seamlessly adds SDN capability to legacy network gear, by emulating the OpenFlow switch OS in a separate software switch component. This way, HARMLESS enables a quick and easy leap into SDN, combining the rapid innovation and upgrade cycles of software switches with the port density and cost-efficiency of hardware-based appliances into a fully dataplane-transparent and vendor-neutral solution. HARMLESS incurs an order of magnitude smaller initial expenditure for an SDN deployment than existing turnkey vendor SDN solutions while, at the same time, yields matching, or even better, data plane performance for smaller enterprises.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Csikor, Dr Levente and Pezaros, Professor Dimitrios
Authors: Csikor, L., Szalay, M., Rétvári, G., Pongrácz, G., Pezaros, D. P., and Toka, L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Journal Name:IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Publisher:IEEE
ISSN:1063-6692
ISSN (Online):1558-2566
Published Online:06 January 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 IEEE
First Published:First published in IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking 2020
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
172888Network Measurement as a Service (MaaS)Dimitrios PezarosEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/N033957/1Computing Science
173446FRuIT: The Federated RaspberryPi Micro-Infrastructure TestbedJeremy SingerEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/P004024/1Computing Science