ZeroSDN: A Message Bus for Flexible and Light-weight Network Control Distribution in SDN

Frank Dürr, Thomas Kohler, Jonas Grunert, Andre Kutzleb

Recent years have seen an evolution of SDN control plane architectures, starting from simple monolithic controllers, over modular monolithic controllers, to distributed controllers. We observe, however, that today's distributed controllers still exhibit inflexibility with respect to the distribution of control logic. Therefore, we propose a novel architecture of a distributed SDN controller in this paper, providing maximum flexibility with respect to distribution. Our architecture splits control logic into light-weight control modules, called controllets, based on a micro-kernel approach, reducing common controllet functionality to a bare minimum and factoring out all higher-level functionality. Light-weight controllets also allow for pushing control logic onto switches to minimize latency and communication overhead. Controllets are interconnected through a message bus supporting the publish/subscribe communication paradigm with specific extensions for content-based OpenFlow message filtering. Publish/subscribe allows for complete decoupling of controllets to further facilitate control plane distribution.

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