Service Chaining for Hybrid Network Function

Huawei Huang, Song Guo, Jinsong Wu, Jie Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


In the Service-Function-Chaining (SFC) enabled cloud networks, various sophisticated policy-aware network functions such as intrusion detection, access control and unified threat management, can be realized in either physical middleboxes or virtualized network function (VNF) appliances. In this paper, we study the service chaining towards the hybrid SFC clouds, where both physical appliances and VNF appliances provide services collaboratively. In such hybrid SFC clouds, the challenge is how to efficiently steer the service chains for traffic demands matching their individual policy chains concurrently such that a utility associated with the total admitted traffic rate and the induced overheads can be maximized. We find such problem has not well been solved so far. To this end, we devise a Markov Approximation (MA) based algorithm. The approximation property of the proposed algorithm is also proved. Extensive evaluation results show that the proposed MA algorithm can yield near-optimal solutions and outperform other benchmark algorithms significantly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1082-1094
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cloud Computing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Approximation algorithms
  • Cloud computing
  • Hardware
  • Markov Approximation
  • Markov processes
  • Middlebox
  • Middleboxes
  • Network Function
  • NFV
  • Routing
  • SDN
  • Security
  • Service Function Chaining
  • Traffic Steering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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