A subtree-based approach to failure detection and protection for multicast in SDN

  • Vignesh Renganathan Raja
  • Chung-Horng Lung
  • Abhishek Pandey
  • Guo-ming Wei
  • Anand Srinivasan


Software-defined networking (SDN) has received tremendous attention from both industry and academia. The centralized control plane in SDN has a global view of the network and can be used to provide more effective solutions for complex problems, such as traffic engineering. This study is motivated by recent advancement in SDN and increasing popularity of multicasting applications. We propose a technique to increase the resiliency of multicasting in SDN based on the subtree protection mechanism. Multicasting is a group communication technology, which uses the network infrastructure efficiently by sending the data only once from one or multiple sources to a group of receivers that share a common path. Multicasting applications, e.g., live video streaming and video conferencing, become popular, but they are delay-sensitive applications. Failures in an ongoing multicast session can cause packet losses and delay, which can significantly affect quality of service (QoS). In this study, we adapt a subtree-based technique to protect a multicast tree constructed for OpenFlow switches in SDN. The proposed algorithm can detect link or node failures from a multicast tree and then determines which part of the multicast tree requires changes in the flow table to recover from the failure. With a centralized controller in SDN, the backup paths can be created much more effectively in comparison to the signaling approach used in traditional multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) networks for backup paths, which makes the subtree-based protection mechanism feasible. We also implement a prototype of the algorithm in the POX controller and measure its performance by emulating failures in different tree topologies in Mininet.


Software-defined networks (SDNs) OpenFlow Multicast tree Protection POX controller Mininet Multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) 

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Copyright information

© Journal of Zhejiang University Science Editorial Office and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vignesh Renganathan Raja
    • 1
  • Chung-Horng Lung
    • 1
  • Abhishek Pandey
    • 1
  • Guo-ming Wei
    • 2
  • Anand Srinivasan
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Systems and Computer EngineeringCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  2. 2.School of Computer ScienceCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Eion Inc.OttawaCanada

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