Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Lab

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Lab

Responsible: Jesus Fabian Mendoza

Short Description

During the last decade, networks have largely increased in size and complexity due to the wide adoption of mobile devices and wireless access. In parallel, the prospection of new verticals in the context of 5G (Internet of Things, Vehicles, and Drones) has necessitated the support of multiple Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with heterogeneous guarantees (latency, reliability, rate, terminal number). In an attempt to streamline the network management, both research community and industrial stakeholders have been progressively adopting network virtualization and softwarization technologies. In addition, the combination of terrestrial and non-terrestrial links (e.g. satellite) in transport networks has introduced new dimensions of network heterogeneity and dynamicity. In this context, the main challenge is to devise network-slicing algorithms that can efficiently and autonomously configure the large number of parameters present in a virtualized dynamic graph representing an integrated satellite-terrestrial transport network.

In this context, the proposed network virtualization testbed setup an experimentation software platform based on Software Defined Networking (SDN), for validation of the new autonomous network-slicing algorithms and their performance evaluation in integrated terrestrial-satellite systems.


The Network Virtualization Testbed considers the network as a graph and the slicing operation as a Virtual Network-Embedding (VNE) problem. The schematic diagram of the elements of the Virtual Network Testbed traffic is described in Figure 1. 

Figure 1. Illustrative view of a SDN-based Network Virtualization Testbed elements.

To emulate the dynamic network environment and to evaluate the developed VNE algorithms, the experimental platform utilize well-established open source tools based on OpenFlow. OpenFlow, as a communication protocol, enables controllers in the network to determine the forwarding path of data packets across switches. For the physical network and traffic emulation, software-based emulators such as Mininet emulate a collection of end-hosts, switches, routers, and links. The network emulator is initiated based on scripts that import real network graph datasets or alternatively randomly generated graphs based on the scenario parameters. An open-source SDN controller as Ryu, is used to install forwarding rules and traffic rate limiters on our emulated network and also collect feedback in the form of flow statistics. The Illustrative view of the physical network and the experimental testbed components is presented in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Illustrative view of the VNE process in a Physical Network and High level view of the experimental testbed components.

Related projects:

- ASWELL: AutonomouS NetWork Slicing for IntEgrated SateLlite-TerrestriaL Transport Networks