Accurate Traffic Splitting on SDN Switches

Ori Rottenstreich, Yossi Kanizo, Haim Kaplan, Jennifer L. Rexford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Traffic splitting is essential for load balancing over multiple servers, middleboxes, and paths. Often the target traffic distribution is not uniform (e.g., due to heterogeneous servers or path capacities). A natural approach is to implement traffic split in existing rule matching tables in commodity switches. In this paper, we conduct an analytical study to understand this ability of switches. To do that, we indicate on a surprising strong connection between the description of distributions in switches to signed representations of positive integers. We introduce an optimal algorithm that minimizes the number of rules needed to represent a weighted traffic distribution. Since switches often have limited rule-table space, the target distribution cannot always be exactly achieved. Accordingly, we also develop a solution that, given a restricted number of rules, finds a distribution that can be implemented within the limited space. To select among different solutions, we describe metrics for quantifying the accuracy of an approximation. We demonstrate the efficiency of the solutions through extensive experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8469157
Pages (from-to)2190-2201
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Load balancing
  • software defined networking
  • ternary content addressable memory


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