OSDF: An Intent-based Software Defined Network Programming Framework

by   Douglas Comer, et al.

Software Defined Networking (SDN) offers flexibility to program a network based on a set of network requirements. Programming the networks using SDN is not completely straightforward because a programmer must deal with low level details. To solve the problem, researchers proposed a set of network programming languages that provide a set of high level abstractions to hide low level hardware details. Most of the proposed languages provide abstractions related to packet processing and flows, and still require a programmer to specify low-level match-action fields to configure and monitor a network. Recently, in an attempt to raise the level at which programmers work, researchers have begun to investigate Intent-based, descriptive northbound interfaces. The work is still in early stages, and further investigation is required before intent-based systems will be adopted by enterprise networks. To help achieve the goal of moving to an intent-based design, we propose an SDN-based network programming framework, the Open Software Defined Framework (OSDF). OSDF provides a high level Application Programming Interface (API) that can be used by managers and network administrators to express network requirements for applications and policies for multiple domains. OSDF also provides a set of high level network operation services that handle common network configuration, monitoring, and Quality of Service (QoS) provisioning. OSDF is equipped with a policy conflict management module to help a network administrator detect and resolve policy conflicts. The paper shows how OSDF can be used and explains application-based policies. Finally, the paper reports the results of both testbed measurements and simulations that are used to evaluate the framework from multiple perspectives, including functionality and performance.


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