SDN shortcomings and how RINA can address them

New technical report focusing on shortcomings of SDN and how RINA can address them is available at the technical reports section of the website.


Software Defined Networks (SDN) has taken the world by storm. Only a few years old as technology, most of the big players have SDN in their product portfolio or in their strategic roadmap. SDN has changed the way we virtualize the network fabric in data centers, provided new features for cloud computing, and arguably plays a big role in facilitating Network Function Virtualization (NFV). Looking ahead, SDN has the potential to make the network disappear altogether, similar to Mark Weiser’s vision for computing. However, while SDN’s main contribution is a new south-bound interface for TCP/IP flow control, little work has been done on the north-bound interface for the interaction with and the management of an SDN network. Two essential items are still missing. First, SDN does currently not provide means to expose network capabilities to applications (e.g. a QoS cube), thus it fails to bridge the gap between the network and services. Second, SDN does not help to advance network management while introducing many new challenges for it. In this paper, we start discussing the disappearing network and discuss how to address the two missing items in the progress. Our contribution is to examin the Recursive InterNetworking Architecture (RINA) as an evolutionary step for SDN, which we present that in the form of three use cases.

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