Metro and carrier-grade Ethernet networks, as well as industrial area networks and specific local area networks (LANs), have to guarantee fast resiliency upon network failure. However, the current OpenFlow architecture, originally designed for LANs, does not include effective mechanisms for fast resiliency. In this paper, the OpenFlow architecture is enhanced to support segment protection in Ethernet-based networks. Novel mechanisms have been specifically introduced to maintain working and backup flows at different priorities and to guarantee effective network resource utilization when the failed link is recovered. Emulation and experimental demonstration implementation results show that the proposed architecture avoids both the utilization of a full-state controller and the intervention of the controller upon failure, thus guaranteeing a recovery time only due to the failure detection time, i.e., a few tens of milliseconds within the considered scenario.
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