NUS Enterprise

Low cost, programmable bare-metal network virtualization

Technology #2016-160

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Researchers
Pravein Govindan Kannan
E-mail: pravein@comp.nus.edu.sg
Managed By
Ms Asha Srinivasan
Associate Director (65)65161671
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US Patent Pending
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Tech Offer 2016-160 Bare-Metal [PDF]

Market Opportunity

Network virtualization is an important aspect of today’s cloud computing services. The current techniques of network virtualization using software (VM hypervisors) are often limited by major constraints such as hypervisor CPU processing power or the rate of packet forwarding. Also, current cloud providers do not provide programmable networks to their tenants, due to unavailability of flexible provisioning mechanisms.

Technology

Our technology (Bare-metal Network Virtualization or BNV) acts as a controller to a set of SDN switches, by providing a programmable slice of the network with maximum fidelity to the tenants. Our approach can support arbitrary topologies over the hardware switches without modifying the switch software, using a novel technique of creating loopback links in the switches.  

Stage of Development

System prototype evaluated in a test platform and it is ready to be deployed.

Applications

BNV can facilitate cloud service providers to enable their customers with Programmable Networks (SDN) at a low-cost and line-rate performance. It can also help enterprise networks and institutions to have greater flexibility/sharing in their network at a low-cost. It can be used by network designers to find how many loopback links are to be created to support various types of topologies. 

Advantages

  1. Provides ability to re-use the core-links of a generic topology to create multi-switch topologies 
  2. Provides ability to create arbitrary topologies with less overhead/burden on core-links 
  3. Provides an optimal mapping technique for a set of tenants.
  4. It can be hosted on a commodity server, and plugs into the network containing the SDN switches with minimal configuration changes

Status

Patent pending. Available for licensing.