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09 - Bridging Openflow/SDN and IP/MPLS - The Design and Emulation of a Hybrid Node in the DREAMER Project

Mauro Campanella (GARR), Luca Prete (GARR), Piere Luigi Ventre (GARR), Stefano Salsano (CNIT / University of Rome "Tor Vergata"), Giuseppe Siracusano (CNIT), Matteo Gerola (CREATE-NET), Michele Santuari (CREATE-NET), Elio Salvadori (CREATE-NET)

The DREAMER Project [1] is one of the beneficiary projects of the GÉANT Open Call research initiative running from October 2013 to March 2015. The partners of DREAMER are: CNIT, CREATE-NET and Consortium GARR the Italian National Research and Educational Network (NREN).
DREAMER aims to investigate how a network based on an OpenFlow/SDN control plane can provide the same functionalities of an IP/MPLS control plane, offering a carrier grade approach to resiliency and fault management. DREAMER focuses on introducing and exploiting SDN capability in carrier grade IP backbones, considers the operational requirements coming from GARR to drive the design of the solutions, and will study its applicability to the GÉANT backbone network. DREAMER has two main dimensions: scientific and experimental. The scientific dimension has the goal of designing an innovative, resilient SDN/OpenFlow system able to smoothly operate in case of link and node failures, by providing resiliency to the controller element in a wide area environment. The experimental dimension has the goal of implementing and validating the designed modules over the GÉANT OpenFlow facility. The scientific innovation in SDN is targeted by, DREAMER by focusing on the introduction of SDN in IP backbones.
DREAMER plans the coexistence of regular IP forwarding/routing and SDN based forwarding for services like VPNs, Virtual Leased Lines, Traffic Engineering.
The introduction of SDN in IP backbones is proposed having the coexistence in the same network node of regular IP forwarding/routing and SDN based forwarding for different types of advanced services (VPNs, Virtual Leased Lines, Traffic Engineering…). In this poster we describe such “hybrid” IP/SDN networking scenario from the point of view of the possible services and the network architecture to be implemented. The design and implementation of the Hybrid IP/SDN node (OSHI) is done on a Linux based system, by combining Open Source components (Quagga for OSPF routing and Open vSwitch as OpenFlow switch). OSHI nodes have been deployed either on Mininet {need reference} emulators or on distributed SDN research testbeds (OFELIA and Géant OpenFlow Facility).
The project will provide a set of open source tools that allow to: i) graphically design (“Topology Designer”) a topology (composed by OSHI core and access routers, end hosts, layer 2 switches, with a given configuration of SDN services); ii) automatically deploy (“Topology Deployer”) the topology and configure the services on Mininet or on SDN testbeds mapping the OSHI nodes and the end hosts on testbed virtual machines; iii) generate traffic (“Measurement Tools”) between end hosts and collect performances measurements (CPU load) on the OSHI nodes. The complete OSHI development and test environment is available in a ready-to-go VirtualBox VM image that can be downloaded from our web page [2], thus starting to experiment hybrid IP/SDN networking with complex topologies in few minutes. Further details about the experiments and our open source implementation are available respectively in presentations and tech reports in [2].
We address the definition of the Hybrid IP/SDN (H-IP/SDN) network by considering: i) mechanisms for co-existence of regular IP traffic and SBPs; ii) the set of services that can be offered using the SBPs; iii) ingress classification and tunneling mechanisms. Let us consider the coexistence of regular IP traffic and SDN based paths (SBP) on the links between H-IP/SDN nodes. Taking into account the capability of available tools in terms of tunnels handling and of compliance to OpenFlow protocol releases, we have decided to use VLAN tags as IP/SDN coexistence mechanisms. Let us now consider the services and features that can be offered by the Hybrid IP/SDN network.
As of writing, the project designed and implemented an “Ethernet Virtual Leased Line” (VLL) service in its virtual machines to create an arbitrary topology. This service guarantees that the circuit end-points are directly interconnected as if they were in the same Ethernet LAN. In the poster we show performance measurements of the implemented solution, taken in the OFELIA and GÉANT Open Flow Facility.
To the best of our knowledge, there is no such hybrid IP/SDN efforts readily available in Open Source, only proprietary hardware switches implement the hybrid approach, the work presented in this poster analyzes and implements a fully open-source OF-hybrid solution designed to be flexible and scalable.

[1] Dreamer Project http://www.geant.net
[2] OSHI homepage http://netgroup.uniroma2.it/OSHI

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