Consistent updates for software-defined networks: Change you can believe in!

Mark Reitblatt, Nate Foster, Jennifer L. Rexford, David P. Walker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

121 Scopus citations

Abstract

Configuration changes are a common source of instability in networks, leading to broken connectivity, forwarding loops, and access control violations. Even when the initial and final states of the network are correct, the update process often steps through intermediate states with incorrect behaviors. These problems have been recognized in the context of specific protocols, leading to a number of point solutions. However, a piecemeal attack on this fundamental problem, while pragmatic in the short term, is unlikely to lead to significant long-term progress. Software-Defined Networking (SDN) provides an exciting opportunity to do better. Because SDN is a clean-slate platform, we can build general, reusable abstractions for network updates that come with strong semantic guarantees. We believe SDN desperately needs such abstractions to make programs simpler to design, more reliable, and easier to validate using automated tools. Moreover, we believe these abstractions should be provided by a runtime system, shielding the programmer from these concerns. We propose two simple, canonical, and effective update abstractions, and present implementation mechanisms. We also show how to integrate them with a network programming language, and discuss potential applications to program verification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, HotNets-10
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 19 2011
Event10th ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, HotNets-10 - Cambridge, MA, United States
Duration: Nov 14 2011Nov 15 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 10th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, HotNets-10

Other

Other10th ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, HotNets-10
CountryUnited States
CityCambridge, MA
Period11/14/1111/15/11

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications

Keywords

  • OpenFlow
  • consistency
  • frenetic
  • network programming languages
  • planned change
  • software-defined networking

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  • Cite this

    Reitblatt, M., Foster, N., Rexford, J. L., & Walker, D. P. (2011). Consistent updates for software-defined networks: Change you can believe in! In Proceedings of the 10th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, HotNets-10 (Proceedings of the 10th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, HotNets-10). https://doi.org/10.1145/2070562.2070569