Trident: Toward Distributed Reactive SDN Programming with Consistent Updates

Abstract Software-Defined Networking (SDN) enables more dynamic and fine-grained network control. In particular, network operators can route traffic not only based on packet header fields, but also higher-level parameters such as user settings, traffic characteristics, and application-layer information extracted by virtualized network functions such as DPI, firewall and authentication servers. Integrating these higher-level parameters into an SDN programming framework brings substantial benefits but is still missing in the SDN community. In this paper, we articulate the challenges and then propose Trident, a novel unified SDN programming framework. Trident extends algorithmic SDN programming with a new abstraction called stream attribute, which integrates meta parameters into the match-action programming paradigm. Further, Trident adopts the idea of reactive value from function reactive programming, eliminating the complexity of manually handling dynamicity. To effectively and efficiently realize these novel ideas, Trident introduces reactive table as the basic processing unit and develops a domain-specific distributed update protocol to maintain consistency during updates. Evaluations show that Trident puts very little overhead on integrating existing network management tools and network functions, and can handle up to O(105) routing requests per second with O(100) milliseconds latency.
  • Kai Gao
  • Taishi Nojima (Yale)
  • Haitao Yu
  • Richard Yang (Yale)
Date Jun-2020
Venue IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, Vol 38 Issue 7 [link]