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Method and System for Reducing Latency of Flows in a Software Defined Network (SDN) Service Appliance Chain Disclosure Number: IPCOM000240143D
Publication Date: 2015-Jan-06
Document File: 6 page(s) / 239K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


A method and system is disclosed for reducing latency of flows in a Software Defined Network (SDN) service appliance chain by pre-programming flow path hops.

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Page 01 of 6

Method and System for Reducing Latency of Flows in a Software Defined Network (SDN) Service Appliance Chain

There are mechanisms available to allow the insertion of service appliances in overlay networks defined by a Software Defined Network (SDN) framework. Once the service appliances are inserted into a solution, the management and control plane must configure the data forwarding layers so that data frames in the overlay network follow the path defined by the overlay network administrator.

In a service chaining infrastructure, a data flow may go through multiple hops, and each hop must send the frame to the (correct) next hop. A hop in the service chain needs to determine where a particular data flow should go to next. If the "next hop" is present in the forwarding table, then there is no latency incurred to compute the next hop, but if the forwarding table does not have the required information, the forwarding table must derive the "next hop" via a control plane mechanism. Thus, there is a clear visualization of how a brand new flow may incur a hit at every hop in the service chain.

There are no solutions which allow a "black box" service appliance to be inserted into an overlay network without requiring any changes in the "black box" service appliance. There are also no mechanisms to reduce the latency of new flows in a service chaining infrastructure due to the newness of service chaining in the SDN area.

Disclosed is a method and system for reducing the latency of a new flow.

The following provides an overview of how service appliances (waypoints) are inserted into an overlay network. The description also covers what the various components of the method and system disclosed herein are and what the expected behavior is (should be) when a service appliance is inserted.

Figure 1 illustrates exemplary application connectivity services use case(s).


Page 02 of 6

Figure 1

As illustrated, a traffic flow is defined from internet to a database through multiple (virtual) service appliances and applications (residing in virtual networks). The method and system disclosed herein allows definition of such logical connectivity services for a user. In addition, the method and system programs predefined SDN Virtual Environment (VE) components to facilitate flow of packets.

Figure 2 illustrates various supported modes of virtual service appliances (waypoints).


Page 03 of 6

Figure 2

Figure 3 illustrates various steps / components of the method and system disclosed herein.

Figure 3

As illustrated, once the service appliance configuration is pushed to the control plane (referred to as the DCS in Figure 3), the virtual switches query the DCS regarding where to direct a particular overlay data frame to (if the virtual switches do not already have the answer from a previous query). The DCS having full knowledge of the topology and the configuration; returns the next hop for the frame (which could be a service appliance).

Additionally at the poi...