A Service Chain Aggregation Architecture

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Last updated 2017-07-28
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Service Function Chaining                                                 H. Yan
Internet Draft                                           Tsinghua University
Intended status: Informational                                     Y. Li
Expires: January 2018                                Tsinghua University
                                                                      H. Sun
                                                    Huawei Technologies
                                                               C. Xiong
                                                    Huawei Technologies
                                                                  D. Jin
                                                Tsinghua University
                                                           July 28, 2017


                        A Service Chain Aggregation Architecture 

        Service chains specifying the ordered sequences of network functions according to network policies requested, play a very important role in improving network performance in most networks. With the introduction of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) technologies, service chains can be immediately deployed in more effective ways. Since different customers or operators would request multiple service chains in the same network but different administrative domains, and the multiple service chains may apply to the same network connection, we propose a service chain aggregation architecture that has ability to effectively aggregate them before the deployment. In this architecture, we determine the aggregating order of service chains according to different conditions verifying the aggregation effectiveness. The benefits of our architecture are 1) security, 2) network resource (e.g., flow entries in switches) savings and 3) scalability.

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Table of Contents

        1. Introduction 3
        2. Design Objective     5
        3. Requirements and Terminology 5
        3.1. Requirements       5
        3.2. Definition of Terms        5
        4. The Architecture of Service Chain Aggregation        6
        4.1. Architecture Overview      6
        4.2. Aggregation Mechanism      7
        5. Examples of Service Chain Aggregation        8
        5.1. Verifying Conflicting Service Chains       8
        5.2. Only One Aggregation Order of Service Chains       8
        5.3. Multiple Aggregation Order of Service Chains       9
        6. Summary      10
        7. Security Considerations      10
        8. IANA Considerations  10
        9. Informative References       10
        10. Acknowledgments     11

1. Introduction

        Network policies can specify how network works and implement specific network functions. In most networks, operators usually manage the network via configuring the policies. For example, in LTE systems, the policy control and charging rules module is responsible for making the policy decision and operators create or update the policies via this module. As the demands of business scenarios become more diverse, customers have the need to customize the network services through network policies. However, it is not easy to meet with such ability because of the network inflexibility. For example, network resources (e.g., network devices) are mostly fixed or statically configured in the underlying networks, and thus cannot be flexibly controlled. 
        To address this problem, Software-Defined Networking [RFC7426] and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) [etsi_gs_nfv_003], as two most promising technologies, are introduced for future network design. SDN decouples the control plane from forwarding plane and enables the logically centralized control; while NFV utilizes the virtualized technologies to implement the required network functions in generic servers instead of the proprietary network devices. By combining with these two technologies, it offers an opportunity to open the ability that applies for required network policies on demand to upper-layer applications. 
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