Software-defined networking (SDN) has received tremendous attention from both industry and academia. The centralized control plane in SDN has a global view of the network and can be used to provide more effective solutions for complex problems, such as traffic engineering. This study is motivated by recent advancement in SDN and increasing popularity of multicasting applications. We propose a technique to increase the resiliency of multicasting in SDN based on the subtree protection mechanism. Multicasting is a group communication technology, which uses the network infrastructure efficiently by sending the data only once from one or multiple sources to a group of receivers that share a common path. Multicasting applications, e.g., live video streaming and video conferencing, become popular, but they are delay-sensitive applications. Failures in an ongoing multicast session can cause packet losses and delay, which can significantly affect quality of service (QoS). In this study, we adapt a subtree-based technique to protect a multicast tree constructed for OpenFlow switches in SDN. The proposed algorithm can detect link or node failures from a multicast tree and then determines which part of the multicast tree requires changes in the flow table to recover from the failure. With a centralized controller in SDN, the backup paths can be created much more effectively in comparison to the signaling approach used in traditional multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) networks for backup paths, which makes the subtree-based protection mechanism feasible. We also implement a prototype of the algorithm in the POX controller and measure its performance by emulating failures in different tree topologies in Mininet.

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Keywords Mininet, Multicast tree, Multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), OpenFlow, POX controller, Protection, Software-defined networks (SDNs)
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Journal Frontiers of Information Technology and Electronic Engineering
Renganathan Raja, V. (Vignesh), Lung, C.H, Pandey, A. (Abhishek), Wei, G.-M. (Guo-Ming), & Srinivasan, A. (Anand). (2016). A subtree-based approach to failure detection and protection for multicast in SDN. Frontiers of Information Technology and Electronic Engineering, 17, 682–700. doi:10.1631/FITEE.1601135