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Towards a flexible software-defined network ecosystem

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ENDEAVOUR (Towards a flexible software-defined network ecosystem)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2017-12-31

The focus of the project is to enable added-value services to be provided thanks to Software-Defined Networking (SDN), on top of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) and other network interconnection fabrics. The services would relate not only to the flexibility of the interconnection fabric, but most importantly to enable the content and data center ecosystem that is present at the interconnection fabric to collaborate. The ultimate goal is to create a service marketplace on top of the ecosystem composed of cloud/data centers, networked applications, and the interconnection fabric.
The objective of ENDEAVOUR is to address current limitations of the Internet interconnection model, as well as to open the opportunity for novel services, creating the possibility for new economic models around the created ecosystems
Context & Problem
The rise of the IXP
IXPs originate at the time the Internet transitioned from an academic/research network into today’s commercial infrastructure. Over the past 20 years, as the Internet grew by leaps and bounds by any imaginable metric, the original four NAPs were replaced by a steadily increasing number of modern IXPs. The critical role they have played in the Internet ecosystem has until recently gone largely unnoticed by the Internet community at large.
Cloud & data centers in the Internet
To cope with the increasing demand for content, content delivery infrastructures --including Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), data centers, and cloud providers-- deploy massively distributed server infrastructures. IXPs will become even more critical when tighter delay constraints are necessary and more support from the network is required by applications running in the Cloud.
Software-Defined Networking (SDN)
Our approach builds upon SDN to simplify network management and make networks more flexible and robust. So far, SDN has mostly been considered in intradomain settings. Bringing SDN to the interdomain settings would generate much more impact, both for network operators as well as for networked applications.
Obj 1. Interdomain SDN Control Plane.
Gathered inputs and requirements from ISP, IXP, Cloud operators, Switch vendors
Design and implementation of building blocks
UMBRELLA, iSDX, SIXPACK, ez-Segway
Design and implementation of the testbed in DE-CIX
Test and evaluation of the ENDEAVOUR SDN platform
Obj 2. Scalable, Fine-Grained Monitoring.
New version of OSNT available on NetFPGA board
COTS switches vs. FPGA-based OpenFlow switches vs. new switching fabric
Design and implementation of a monitoring platform capable of exposing rich measurements
Developing the monitoring middlebox
Software and hardware implementation of the ENDEAVOUR monitoring platform
Development of a global peering outage detection system
Design and evaluation of a concept to port the SDN featured advanced blackholing
Obj 3. Flexible IXP Management.
Comprehensive survey of use cases and feedback from variety of network and IXP operators
Requirements suggested by DE-CIX
Current SDN controller software capabilities and limitations
Implemented and demonstrated extensive set of use cases
Obj 4. Programmatic Interdomain Network Services.
Feedback from world-leading experts in networking
Out of band anomaly detection algorithm built on OSNT
Implemented most relevant use cases for the IXP members
Ported SDN-based advanced blackholing to commodity hardware
Advanced traffic-engineering capabilities
Obj 5. Dissemination & exploitation.
73 publications and communications (SIGCOMM, JSAC, CNSM, NSDI)
3 workshops
Extensive dissemination effort
Poster, brochure, merchandise
Project website
Estimated number of people reached by communications: 23,000
ENDEAVOUR has direct benefits for IXPs, Cloud providers and ISPs. Our potential beneficiaries include the general public, governments, industry, academia and the third sector. A better understanding obtained through the multiple interactions with the community of IXP members and operators helped the project partners to tailor the project to maximize the potential impact.
The impact of ENDEAVOUR includes:
• Creating new economic models in the IXP.
• Enabling regional networks to be more competitive by exchanging traffic directly. This is crucial to keep small regional networks simple, e.g. not having to run their own BGP domain.
• Improving the quality and resiliency of the communication infrastructure, ultimately aiding to reduce the digital-divide.
ENDEAVOUR shows the path towards IXPs with manageable and controllable networks that provides enhanced traffic engineering services and its potential to change the architecture of the Internet.
Main achievements:
- UMBRELLA architecture: Makes SDN scalable, robust and easy to manage. It is running on the operational TouSIX IXP facility for more than two years.
- Extended ORUNADA: Anomaly detection algorithm that will be shortly deployed at TouSIX. Provides added value in terms of security, especially DDoS attacks.
- SIXPACK: Routing server service that leverages Secure Multi-Party Computation (SMPC) techniques to keep export policies of IXP members.
- ez-Segway: Mechanism providing decentralized network updates while preventing forwarding anomalies and avoiding link congestion.
- iSDX: Component of the ENDEAVOUR architecture that offers mechanisms for compiling SDN control policies at the scale and speed required by largest IXPs.
- Multi-flow update problem in SDNFV systems with a multi-step strategy to shorten the update time.
- Paxos: Consensus protocol in network devices.
- GSS: Instruments all ports of all the switches for sustained monitoring.
ENDEAVOUR is closely interacting with other European funded projects like FP7-FLAMINGO, FP7 ONTIC, SSICLOPS and international institutions like Princeton.
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