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Software router acceleration using OpenFlow hardware

Switches – routers in disguise: Software router acceleration using OpenFlow hardware TNC17STUDENT Norbertas Kremeris The current market situation forces those interested in procuring a high performance router with many ports to pay licensing fees for the entire software package that comes with the router (or at least a huge part of it), even if not all the functionality is needed. Also, once the hardware becomes obsolete, one is forced to upgrade both their hardware and software, and pay licensing fees for the same software again. Lastly, the price per port is much higher on a router than on a switch. Our proposed innovative solution suggests using a Linux server/router, together with OpenFlow switches and Sflow statistics to offload most of the workload from the software router to OpenFlow capable hardware. This creates a platform where hardware can be upgraded independently of the software. The main advantages of our innovative solution are: Vendor independence - any OpenFlow capable hardware should be supported. Modularity – the solution should allow hassle-free upgrades to the software and the hardware separately, and should also allow creation of custom plugins if the need arises. Scalability – the solution calls for easy addition of extra switching hardware to the same controlling software, thus creating a form of “stackable router” We are nearing completion of limited but working proof-of-concept. We have tested our current setup with a simulated single BGP peer (as a transit provider) and an upstream 100mbps random traffic load. Even though our offloading software is unstable, preliminary tests are promising, as the software was able to offload about 80mbps of traffic to the switch after only 2 minutes of operation, leaving only 20mbps to be routed by the software router. We expect that getting enough traction, our solution will be able to provide significant cost savings and ease of upgradeability to certain businesses and ISPs.


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