Fault-Tolerant Controller Placement Model by Distributing Switch Load among Multiple Controllers in Software-Defined Network

Takehiro SATO
Eiji OKI

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E105-B    No.5    pp.533-544
Publication Date: 2022/05/01
Publicized: 2021/12/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.2021EBP3090
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Network
software-defined network,  controller,  controller placement problem,  integer linear programming,  

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One of the features of a software-defined network (SDN) is a logically centralized control plane hosting one or more SDN controllers. As SDN controller placement can impact network performance, it is widely studied as the controller placement problem (CPP). For a cost-effective network design, network providers need to minimize the number of SDN controllers used in the network since each SDN controller incurs installation and maintenance costs. Moreover, the network providers need to deal with the failure of SDN controllers. Existing studies that consider SDN controller failures use the scheme of connecting each SDN switch to one Master controller and one or more Slave controllers. The problem with this scheme is that the computing capacity of each SDN controller cannot be used efficiently since one SDN controller handles the load of all SDN switches connected to it. The number of SDN controllers required can be reduced by distributing the load of each SDN switch among multiple SDN controllers. This paper proposes a controller placement model that allows the distribution against SDN controller failures. The proposed model determines the ratios of computing capacity demanded by each SDN switch on the SDN controllers connected to it. The proposed model also determines the number and placement of SDN controllers and the assignment of each SDN switch to SDN controllers. Controller placement is determined so that a network provider can continue to manage all SDN switches if no more than a certain number of SDN controller failures occur. We develop two load distribution methods: split and even-split. We formulate the proposed model with each method as integer linear programming problems. Numerical results show that the proposed model reduces the number of SDN controllers compared to a benchmark model; the maximum reduction ratio is 38.8% when the system latency requirement between an SDN switch and an SDN controller is 100[ms], the computing capacity of each SDN controller is 6 × 106[packets/s], and the maximum number of SDN controllers that can fail at the same time is one.