Designing Modular Overlay Solutions for Network Virtualization

Networking is currently facing important challenges arising from the advent of virtualization and cloud computing. Broad acceptance of these advanced technologies has raised new networking requirements related to the complex configuration, management and control means needed in order to cope with large scale virtual networks of highly dynamic nature supporting multi-tenancy. Coping efficiently with these requirements has brought to the fore the need to virtualize the network by properly decoupling the logical network functionality from the underlying physical infrastructure. An essential method for enabling such a decoupling and achieve a good abstraction of the network is the use of overlays.

In this work, we investigate the main overlay solutions recently proposed and explore their main components, namely: the tunneling protocol, the control plane and the logical view.We observe that while these solutions efficiently extend the connectivity boundaries and solve the imminent scalability concerns, they do not provide a specification of an enhanced logical view. We describe the Distributed Overlay Virtual nEtwork (DOVE) solution, an architecture based on overlay networks that achieves an advanced network abstraction, allowing to define provider-tenant contracts and to provide network services at application level.

By: Liane Lewin-Eytan, Katherine Barabash, Rami Cohen, Vinit Jain, Anna Levin

Published in: H-03016 in 2012


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