Abstract

Optical packet switching (OPS) can enhance the performance of data center networks (DCNs) by providing fast and large-capacity switching capability. Benefiting from the software-defined networking (SDN) control plane, which could update the look-up-table (LUT) of the OPS, virtual DCNs can be flexibly created and reconfigured. In this work, we have implemented and assessed an SDN-based control framework for an OPS node, where the OpenFlow protocol has been extended in support of the OPS switching paradigm. Application flows are switched by the OPS at submicrosecond hardware speed, decoupled from the slower (millisecond timescale) SDN control operation. By the DCN infrastructure provider, the virtual networks become directly programmable with the abstraction of the underlying OPS node. Experimental results validate the successful setup of virtual network slices for intra-data center interconnect and quality of service (QoS) guarantee for high-priority application flows. Data plane resources are efficiently shared by exploiting statistical multiplexing. In addition, the capability of exposing per-port OPS traffic statistics information to the SDN controller enables the implementation and experimental validation of load balancing algorithms to improve the QoS performance.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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