Smart routing: towards proactive fault handling of software-defined networks

Ali Malik, Benjamin Aziz, Mo Adda, Chih-Heng Ke

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In recent years, the emerging paradigm of software-defined networking has become a hot and thriving topic in both the industrial and academic sectors. Software-defined networking offers numerous benefits against legacy networking systems by simplifying the process of network management through reducing the cost of network configurations. Currently, data plane fault management is limited to two mechanisms: proactive and reactive. These fault management and recovery techniques are activated only after a failure occurrence and hence packet loss is highly likely to occur. This is due to convergence time where new network paths will need to be allocated in order to forward the affected traffic rather than drop it. Such convergence leads to temporary service disruption and unavailability. Practically, not only the speed of recovery mechanisms affects the convergence, but also the delay caused by the process of failure detection. In this paper, we define a new approach for data plane fault management in software-defined networks where the goal is to eliminate the convergence process altogether rather than accelerate the failure detection and recovery. We propose a new framework, called Smart Routing, which allows the network controller to receive forewarning signs on failures and hence avoid risky paths before the failure incidents occur. The proposed approach aims to decrease service disruption, which in turn increases network service availability. We validate our framework through a set of experiments that demonstrate how the underlying model runs and its impact on improving service availability. We take as example of the applicability of the new framework three types of topologies covering real and simulated networks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107104
Number of pages14
JournalComputer Networks
Early online date16 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2020


  • Software-Defined Networking
  • service availability
  • openflow
  • fault management
  • risk management


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