SDX: a software defined internet exchange

Arpit Gupta, Laurent Vanbever, Muhammad Shahbaz, Sean Patrick Donovan, Brandon Schlinker, Nick Feamster, Jennifer Rexford, Scott Shenker, Russ Clark, Ethan Katz-Bassett
Appears in: 
CCR August 2014

BGP severely constrains how networks can deliver traffic over the Internet. Today’s networks can only forward traffic based on the destination IP prefix, by selecting among routes offered by their immediate neighbors. We believe Software Defined Networking (SDN) could revolutionize wide-area traffic delivery, by offering direct control over packet-processing rules that match on multiple header fields and perform a variety of actions. Internet exchange points (IXPs) are a compelling place to start, given their central role in interconnecting many networks and their growing importance in bringing popular content closer to end users. To realize a Software Defined IXP (an “SDX”), need new programming abstractions that allow participating networks to create and run these applications and a runtime that both behaves correctly when interacting with BGP and ensures that applications do not interfere with each other. We must also ensure that the system scales, both in rule-table size and computational overhead. In this demo, we show how we tackle these challenges demonstrating the flexibility and scalability of our SDX platform. The paper also appears in the main program [1].