Semantic Validation of Affinity Constrained Service Function Chain Requests

Abstract

Network Function Virtualization (NFV) has been proposed as a paradigm to increase the cost-efficiency, flexibility and innovation in network service provisioning. By leveraging IT virtualization techniques in combination with programmable networks, NFV is able to decouple network functionality from the physical devices on which they are deployed. This opens up new business opportunities for both Infrastructure Providers (InPs) as well as Service Providers (SPs), where the SP can request to deploy a chain of Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) on top of which its service can run. However, current NFV approaches lack the possibility for SPs to define location requirements and constraints on the mapping of virtual functions and paths onto physical hosts and links. Nevertheless, many scenarios can be envisioned in which the SP would like to attach placement constraints for efficiency, resilience, legislative, privacy and economic reasons. Therefore, we propose a set of affinity and anti-affinity constraints, which can be used by SPs to define such placement restrictions. This newfound ability to add constraints to Service Function Chain (SFC) requests also introduces an additional risk that SFCs with conflicting constraints are requested or automatically generated. Therefore, a framework is proposed that allows the InP to check the validity of a set of constraints and provide feedback to the SP. To achieve this, the SFC request and relevant information on the physical topology are modeled as an ontology of which the consistency can be checked using a semantic reasoner. Enabling semantic validation of SFC requests, eliminates inconsistent SFCs requests from being transferred to the embedding algorithm.

Publication
IEEE Conference on Network Softwarization (NetSoft)