SDN Based Traffic Aware Placement of NFV Middleboxes

- sponsored by National Science Foundation


Project Overview

Network Function Virtualization (NFV) enables flexible deployment of middleboxes as virtual machines (VMs) running on general hardware. Since different middleboxes may change the volume of processed traffic in different ways, improper deployment of NFV middleboxes will result in hot spots and congestion. In this project, we study the traffic changing effects of middleboxes, and propose Software-Defined Networking (SDN) based middlebox placement solutions to achieve optimal load balancing. We formulate the Traffic Aware Middlebox Placement (TAMP) problem as a graph optimization problem with the objective to minimize the maximum link load ratio. First, we solve the TAMP problem when the flow paths are predetermined, such as in a tree. For a single flow, we propose the Least-First-Greatest-Last (LFGL) rule and prove its optimality; for multiple flows, we first show the NP-hardness of the problem, and then propose an efficient heuristic. Next, for the general TAMP problem without predetermined flow paths, we prove that it is NP-hard even for a single flow, and propose the LFGL based MinMax routing algorithm by integrating LFGL with MinMax routing. We use a joint emulation and simulation approach to evaluate the proposed solutions, and conduct extensive experiments and simulations to evaluate the proposed design.




Deng Pan, Associate Professor

Wenrui Ma, PhD Student

Jonathan Beltran, Undergraduate Student

Zhenglin Pan, Undergraduate Student



Related Publications

1. W. Ma, J. Beltran, Z. Pan, D. Pan, and N. Pissinou, ``SDN based Traffic Aware Placement of NFV Middleboxes,'' IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management, accepted for publication.

2. W. Ma, O. Sandoval, J. Beltran, D. Pan, and N. Pissinou, ``Traffic-Aware Placement of Interdependent NFV Middleboxes,'' IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM), Atlanta, GA, May 2017.

3. W. Ma, C. Medina, and D. Pan, ``Traffic-Aware Placement of NFV Middleboxes,'' IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM), San Diego, CA, Dec. 2015.



Related Software

1.    Implementation in Floodlight open-source SDN controller.

2.    Implementation in NS-3 simulator.