Learning the Optimal Synchronization Rates in Distributed SDN Control Architectures

Abstract Since the early development of Software-Defined Network (SDN) technology, researchers have been concerned with the idea of physical distribution of the control plane to address scalability and reliability challenges of centralized designs. However, having multiple controllers managing the network while maintaining a “logically-centralized” network view brings additional challenges. One such challenge is how to coordinate the management decisions made by the controllers which is usually achieved by disseminating synchronization messages in a peer-to-peer manner. While there exist many architectures and protocols to ensure synchronized network views and drive coordination among controllers, there is no systematic methodology for deciding the optimal frequency (or rate) of message dissemination. In this paper, we fill this gap by introducing the SDN synchronization problem: how often to synchronize the network views for each controller pair. We consider two different objectives; first, the maximization of the number of controller pairs that are synchronized, and second, the maximization of the performance of applications of interest which may be affected by the synchronization rate. Using techniques from knapsack optimization and learning theory, we derive algorithms with provable performance guarantees for each objective. Evaluation results demonstrate significant benefits over baseline schemes that synchronize all controller pairs at equal rate.
  • Konstantinos Poularakis (Yale)
  • Qiaofeng Qin (Yale)
  • Liang Ma (IBM US)
  • Sastry Kompella
  • Kin Leung (Imperial)
  • Leandros Tassiulas (Yale)
Date Apr-2019
Venue IEEE Conference on Computer Communications 2019