In our earlier blog, you learned about the basics of SDN as well as its growing market opportunities.But one factor that can falter the SDN promise is its performance in comparison with existing technologies. Let’s try & understand this a bit.In today’s enterprise as well as cloud/data center networks, HW-based vendor switches like Cisco, Brocade etc. are heavily used and relied upon. While these are expensive nodes, they provide high performance & stable network connectivity via their matured protocol implementation. SDN reduces the cost of switching & routing by moving its decision making to central controller & thereby reducing complexity of the switches (both SW and HW). However, the downside is the possible performance impact to the network communication & data transfer.

In SDN, for each new flow setup, first packet is invariably sent by the switch to the controller. If controller is aware of the target, it will add a flow-specific rule to the switch. If not, then controller will ask switch to flood all its ports & see from where the response comes from & thereby know the destination port for the flow. Thus, a packet from switch-to-controller & from controller-to-switch adds a new level of latency as well as processing in the network.


Calsoft and SDN
Calsoft has contributed to SDN by way of Open vSwitch component development and testing.
Some of the work that experts at Calsoft do in SDN includes:

  • OVS Integration with different hypervisors platform
  • Provided patches for issues or enhancement related to OVS utilities, Python scripts, and AUTOTEST checks
  • Developed Wireshark dissector plugin for tunneling protocol
  • Developed internal infrastructure for Wireshark git repository for dissector plugins
  • Developed OVS utilities Linux manual pages

Read SDN Controller Performance Challenges – 2 to explore key metrics that customer as well as SDN controller vendors should consider while defining or evaluating the SDN controller performance.

Contributed by:Nitin Singhvi | Calsoft Inc.

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