Abstract: A method for federating multiple network-virtualization platforms by creating and managing slices (virtual networks) is proposed. A cross-domain slice can be created, deleted, or modified by sending a slice specification to the domain controller (network manager) of one domain. The specification is then propagated to other domains. Two challenges were addressed while this method was developed. The first challenge is to enable federation among multiple domains that do not support federation functions by only adding a few components without modification of the existing network-virtualization-platform architecture. A domain-dependent specification of a slice, containing a pseudo virtual node that encloses a part of the slice specification in the other domains, is used, and this part is handled by a proxy node that represents another domain and a control component that implements a federation API to create a cross-domain slice. The second challenge is to enable manageable non-IP (arbitrary-format) data communication on a cross-domain slice. For an inter-domain communication, underlay VLAN parameters including MAC addresses are negotiated in advance and data packets on a slice are tunneled between gateways in these domains. The proposed federation method was implemented on two network-virtualization platforms, federation between two homogeneous domains was successfully demonstrated, federation performance was measured, and several issues on functional restrictions and implementation difficulty were found.
Introduction to this research theme: Network virtualization