Adopting SDN Switch Buffer: Benefits Analysis and Mechanism Design

Fuliang Li, Jiannong Cao, Xingwei Wang, Yinchu Sun, Tian Pan, Xuefeng Liu

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


One critical issue in SDN is to reduce the communication overhead between the switches and the controller. Such overhead is mainly caused by handling miss-match packets, because for each miss-match packet, a switch will send a request to the controller asking for forwarding rule. Existing approaches to address this problem generally need to deploy intermediate proxy or authority switches to hold rule copies, so as to reduce the number of requests sent to the controller. In this paper, we argue that using the intrinsic buffer in a SDN switch can also greatly reduce the communication overhead without using additional devices. If a switch buffers each miss-match packet, only a few header fields instead of the entire packet are required to be sent to the controller. Experiment results show that this can reduce 78.7% control traffic and 37% controller overhead at the cost of increasing only 5.6% switch overhead on average. If the proposed flow-granularity buffer mechanism is adopted, only one request message needs to be sent to the controller for a new flow with many arrival packets. Thus the control traffic and controller overhead can be further reduced by 64% and 35.7% respectively on average without increasing the switch overhead.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - IEEE 37th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2017
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781538617915
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2017
Event37th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2017 - J.W. Marriott Hotel, Atlanta, United States
Duration: 5 Jun 20178 Jun 2017


Conference37th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Buffer
  • Communication overhead
  • Data center networks
  • Software Defined Networking
  • Switch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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