A Decentralized SDN Architecture for the WAN

Nitika Saran
Ashok Narayanan
Sylvia Ratnasamy
Ankit Singla
Hakim Weatherspoon
2024 ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication (SIGCOMM)(2024) (to appear)


Motivated by our experiences operating a global WAN, we argue that SDN’s reliance on infrastructure external to the data plane has significantly complicated the challenge of maintaining high availability. We propose a new decentralized SDN (dSDN) architecture in which SDN control logic instead runs within routers, eliminating the control plane’s reliance on external infrastructure and restoring fate sharing between control and data planes. We present dSDN as a simpler approach to realizing the benefits of SDN in the WAN. Despite its much simpler design, we show that dSDN is practical from an implementation viewpoint, and outperforms centralized SDN in terms of routing convergence and SLO impact.

Research Areas