Enhancing capabilities of the network data plane using network virtualization and software defined networking
Anwer, Muhammad Bilal
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Enhancement of network data-plane functionality is an open problem that has recently gained momentum. Addition and programmability of new functions inside the network data-plane to enable high speed, complex network functions with minimum resource utilization, is main focus of this thesis. In this work, we look at different levels of the network data-plane design and using network virtualization and software defined networking we propose data-plane enhancements to achieve these goals. This thesis is divided into two parts, in first part we take a ground up approach where we focus our attention at the fast path packet processing. Using hardware and software based network virtualization we show how hardware and software based network switches can be designed to achieve above mentioned goals. We then present a switch design to quickly add these custom fast path packet processors to the network data-plane using software defined networking. In second part of this thesis we take a top to bottom approach where we present a programming abstraction for network operators and a network function deployment system for this programming abstraction. We use network virtualization and software defined networking to introduce new functions inside the network data-plane while alleviating the network operators of the deployment details and minimizing the network resource utilization.
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