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SDN Cumulative Actions

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000245167D
Publication Date: 2016-Feb-16

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

SDN packet processing involves going through multiple flow tables, searching for a matching flow entry, executing each instruction and actions. These actions may include generic actions such as decrement TTL, set Ethernet source MAC, set Ethernet destination MAC, etc. There is overhead involved in executing each generic action for supporting standard functionality, some examples are: IP routing, NAT or IPsec, etc. To reduce the overhead associated with executing generic actions, SDN cumulative actions are defined. This paper defines SDN cumulative actions for IP routing, IPsec and NAT networking applications.

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SDN Cumulative Actions

Abstract

SDN packet processing involves going through multiple flow tables, searching for a matching flow entry, executing each instruction and actions.  These actions may include generic actions such as decrement TTL, set Ethernet source MAC, set Ethernet destination MAC, etc.  There is overhead involved in executing each generic action for supporting standard functionality, some examples are: IP routing, NAT or IPsec, etc.  To reduce the overhead associated with executing generic actions, SDN cumulative actions are defined. This paper defines SDN cumulative actions for IP routing, IPsec and NAT networking applications.

Introduction

SDN (Software Defined Networking) architectures are used to decouple the control and data plane functionalities.  SDN can be implemented using the Openflow switch specification. These specifications are defined by Open Networking Foundation (ONF).  The Openflow switch specification defines datapath, flow tables, match fields, instructions and actions.  The following diagrams illustrate SDN Openflow packet processing functionality:

                                             

Openflow defines generic actions such as TTL decrement, output, set Ethernet source MAC, set Ethernet destination MAC addresses, set IP header source address, etc.  These generic actions are used to implement various kinds of networking applications.  Each networking application requires multiple flow entries and multiple actions for each flow entry.  Packet processing involves going through multiple flow entries and executing each generic action.

To improve packet processing throughput, SDN cumulative actions can be defined. Each networking application can have one or more cumulative actions based on the functionality.  SDN cumulative actions define a specific functionality based on the application. These cumulative actions combine a major part of the functionality into one action. This reduces going through and execution of multiple generic actions, e.g., IP route functionality requires execution of actions such as:  decrement TTL, fragmentation, setting Ethernet source MAC address, setting Ethernet destination MAC address, then output to the given port number.  One IP-route cumulative action can be defined to perform all the IP routing functionality, which improves IP-route throughput.  Applications can directly program cumulative actions into the switch.

This paper defines SDN cumulative actions for IP routing, IPsec and NAT networking applications.

SDN IP-route action

IP-route action can be defined to perform IP routing functionality. IP route application can program a switch with IP-route action.

The following figure defines IP-route action format:

The following defines IP-route action data format:

Action length = 2 bytes of MTU data+ 6 bytes of destination MAC address + 6 bytes of source MAC address + 4 bytes of output port number + action header length

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