Ever since Network Functions Virtualization has replaced dedicated appliances, ISPs have been able to add a degree of flexibility in their traffic engineering. However, it also has increased the complexity of the optimization problem, because it is now necessary to place virtual functions and route traffic jointly. Insofar, a logically centralized approach has been taken, where a so-called orchestrator, having full knowledge of the network, the virtual functions, and the traffic, run complex algorithms to find a suitable solution to the problem. The outcome of the algorithms are then translated to network configurations to be pushed to all of the appliances. We argue that there is no need to fully centralize every decision, rather we can leverage existing network intelligence to achieve the same goal. In particular we propose to augment the routing layer with the notion of services, so to rely on the robustness and scalability of Interior Gateway Protocols (IGP). Our solution leverages on existing distributed routing protocols where, in addition, autonomous nodes announce information about the virtual services they provide. Our design is modular and incrementally deployable and has been implemented in what we call a NFV Router. In our evaluation, we show that (i) NFV Routers distributed chaining decisions are close to optimal centrally-computed paths, (ii) on a large scale testbed deployment, NFV Routers efficiently steer traffic through chains and only add a small overhead to control traffic and (iii) our distributed system, because of its local control loop, has a faster reaction to network events than centralized solutions.
The different versions of the original document can be found in:
DOIS: 10.23919/ifipnetworking.2019.8816831 10.23919/ifipnetworking46909.2019.8999450
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