SDN Flow Entry Management Using Reinforcement Learning

by   Ting-Yu Mu, et al.

Modern information technology services largely depend on cloud infrastructures to provide their services. These cloud infrastructures are built on top of datacenter networks (DCNs) constructed with high-speed links, fast switching gear, and redundancy to offer better flexibility and resiliency. In this environment, network traffic includes long-lived (elephant) and short-lived (mice) flows with partitioned and aggregated traffic patterns. Although SDN-based approaches can efficiently allocate networking resources for such flows, the overhead due to network reconfiguration can be significant. With limited capacity of Ternary Content-Addressable Memory (TCAM) deployed in an OpenFlow enabled switch, it is crucial to determine which forwarding rules should remain in the flow table, and which rules should be processed by the SDN controller in case of a table-miss on the SDN switch. This is needed in order to obtain the flow entries that satisfy the goal of reducing the long-term control plane overhead introduced between the controller and the switches. To achieve this goal, we propose a machine learning technique that utilizes two variations of reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms-the first of which is traditional reinforcement learning algorithm based while the other is deep reinforcement learning based. Emulation results using the RL algorithm show around 60 around 14 Filters (MBF) method given a fixed size flow table of 4KB.


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