Matching SDN and Legacy Networking Hardware for Energy Efficiency and Bounded Delay


Both economic and environmental costs are driving much research in the area of energy efficiency of networking equipment. This research has produced a great amount of proposals. However, the majority of them remain unimplemented due to the lack of flexibility of current hardware devices and a certain lack of enthusiasm from commercial vendors. At the same time, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) has allowed customers to control switching decisions with a flexibility and precision previously unheard of. This paper explores the potential convergence between the two aforementioned trends and presents a promising power saving algorithm that can be implemented using standard SDN capabilities of current switches, reducing operation costs on both data centers and wired access networks. In particular, we focus on minimizing the energy consumption in bundles of Energy Efficient Ethernet links leveraging SDN. For this, we build on an existing theoretical algorithm and adapt it for implementing with an SDN solution. We study several approaches and compare the resulting algorithms not only according to their energy eficiency, but also taking into account additional QoS metrics. The results show that the resulting algorithm is able to closely match the theoretical results, even when taking into account the requirements of delay sensitive traffic.

Sensors. 2018; 18(11):3915.