Routing Centralization Across Domains via SDN: A Model and Emulation Framework for BGP Evolution

Research paper by Vasileios Kotronis, Adrian Gamperli, Xenofontas Dimitropoulos

Indexed on: 08 Nov '16Published on: 08 Nov '16Published in: arXiv - Computer Science - Networking and Internet Architecture


In this work, we propose a radical, incrementally-deployable Internet routing paradigm in which the control plane of multiple networks is centralized. This follows the Software Defined Networking (SDN) paradigm, although at the inter-domain level involving multiple Autonomous Systems (AS). Multi-domain SDN centralization can be realized by outsourcing routing functions to an external contractor, which provides inter-domain routing services facilitated through a multi-AS network controller. The proposed model promises to become a vehicle for evolving BGP and uses the bird's eye view over several networks to benefit aspects of inter-domain routing, such as convergence properties, policy conflict resolution, inter-domain troubleshooting, and collaborative security. In addition to the proposed paradigm, we introduce a publicly available emulation platform built on top of Mininet and the Quagga routing software, for experimenting in hybrid BGP-SDN AS-level networks. As a proof of concept we focus specifically on exploiting multi-domain centralization to improve BGP's slow convergence. We build and make publicly available a first multi-AS controller tailored to this use case and demonstrate experimentally that SDN centralization helps to linearly reduce BGP convergence times and churn rates with expanding SDN deployments.