Algorithms for fault-tolerant placement of stateful virtualized network functions

Authors: Yang, B., Xu, Z., Chai, W.K., Liang, W., Tuncer, D., Galis, A. and Pavlou, G.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/30196/

Start date: 20 May 2018

Traditional network functions (NFs) such as firewalls are implemented in costly dedicated hardware. By decoupling NFs from physical devices, network function virtualization enables virtual network functions (VNF) to run in virtual machines (VMs). However, VNFs are vulnerable to various faults such as software and hardware failures. To enhance VNF fault tolerance, the deployment of backup VNFs in stand-by VM instances is necessary. In case of stateful VNFs, stand-by instances require constant state updates from active instances during its operation. This will guarantee a correct and seamless handover from failed instances to stand-by instances after failures. Nevertheless, such state updates to stand-by instances could consume significant network bandwidth resources and lead to potential admission failures for VNF requests. In this paper, we study the fault-tolerant VNF placement problem with the optimization objective of admitting as many requests as possible. In particular, the VNF placement of active/stand-by instances, the request routing paths to active instances, and state transfer paths to stand-by instances are jointly considered. We devise an efficient heuristic algorithm to solve this problem, and propose a bi-criteria approximation algorithm with performance guarantees for a special case of the problem. Simulations with realistic settings show that our algorithms can significantly improve the request admission rate compared to conventional approaches.

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Authors: Yang, B., Xu, Z., Chai, W.K., Liang, W., Tuncer, D., Galis, A. and Pavlou, G.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/30196/

Journal: IEEE International Conference on Communications

Volume: 2018-May

ISBN: 9781538631805

ISSN: 1550-3607

DOI: 10.1109/ICC.2018.8422444

© 2018 IEEE. Traditional network functions (NFs) such as firewalls are implemented in costly dedicated hardware. By decoupling NFs from physical devices, network function virtualization enables virtual network functions (VNF) to run in virtual machines (VMs). However, VNFs are vulnerable to various faults such as software and hardware failures. To enhance VNF fault tolerance, the deployment of backup VNFs in stand-by VM instances is necessary. In case of stateful VNFs, stand-by instances require constant state updates from active instances during its operation. This will guarantee a correct and seamless handover from failed instances to stand-by instances after failures. Nevertheless, such state updates to stand-by instances could consume significant network bandwidth resources and lead to potential admission failures for VNF requests. In this paper, we study the fault-tolerant VNF placement problem with the optimization objective of admitting as many requests as possible. In particular, the VNF placement of active/stand-by instances, the request routing paths to active instances, and state transfer paths to stand-by instances are jointly considered. We devise an efficient heuristic algorithm to solve this problem, and propose a bicriteria approximation algorithm with performance guarantees for a special case of the problem. Simulations with realistic settings show that our algorithms can significantly improve the request admission rate compared to conventional approaches.

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