Routing cost minimization and throughput maximization of NFV-Enabled unicasting in software-Defined networks

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

30 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)732-745
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


Data transfer in contemporary networks usually is associated with strict policy enforcement for data transfer security and system performance purposes. Such a policy is represented by a service chain consisting of a sequence of network functions such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, transcoders, etc. Due to the high cost and inflexibility of managing hardware-based network functions, network function virtualization (NFV) has emerged as a promising technology to meet the stringent requirement imposed on the service chain of each data transfer request in a low-cost and flexible way. In this paper, we study policy-aware unicast request admissions with and without end-to-end delay constraints in a software defined network. We aim to minimize the operational cost of admitting a single request in terms of both computing resource consumption for implementing the NFVs in the service chain and bandwidth resource consumption for routing its data traffic, or maximize the network throughput for a sequence of requests without the knowledge of future request arrivals. We first formulate four novel optimization problems and provide a generic optimization framework for the problems. We then develop efficient algorithms for the admission of a single NFV-enabled request with and without the end-to-end delay constraint, where NFV-enabled requests are defined as the requests with policy enforcement requirements. We also devise online algorithms with a guaranteed performance for dynamic admissions of requests without the knowledge of future arrivals. In particular, we provide the very first online algorithm with a provable competitive ratio for the problem without the end-to-end delay requirement. We finally evaluate the performance of the proposed algorithms through experimental simulations. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithms are promising and outperform existing heuristics.

Research Area(s)

  • Algorithm design, Analysis, Network function virtualization, Online algorithms, Operational cost minimization, Policy-aware unicasting, Service chains, Software defined networks

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