Global state, local decisions: Decentralized NFV for ISPs via enhanced SDN
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The network functions virtualization paradigm is rapidly gaining interest among Internet service providers. However, the transition to this paradigm on ISP networks comes with a unique set of challenges: legacy equipment already in place, heterogeneous traffic from multiple clients, and very large scalability requirements. In this article we thoroughly analyze such challenges and discuss NFV design guidelines that address them efficiently. Particularly, we show that a decentralization of NFV control while maintaining global state improves scalability, offers better per-flow decisions and simplifies the implementation of virtual network functions. Building on top of such principles, we propose a partially decentralized NFV architecture enabled via an enhanced software-defined networking infrastructure. We also perform a qualitative analysis of the architecture to identify advantages and challenges. Finally, we determine the bottleneck component, based on the qualitative analysis, which we implement and benchmark in order to assess the feasibility of the architecture.
CitationRodriguez, A., Ermagan, V., Noy, A., Sahai, A., Kaempfer, G., Barkai, S., Maino, F., Cabellos-Aparicio, A. Global state, local decisions: Decentralized NFV for ISPs via enhanced SDN. "IEEE communications magazine", 14 Abril 2017, vol. 55, núm. 4, p. 87-93.