Configuring QoS in OpenFlow networks with NetConf

OData support
Dr. Gulyás András
Department of Telecommunications and Media Informatics

The inner structure of networking devices is kept in secret by manufacturers. Usually, the only available documentation about this kind of tools is user manual. The lack of descriptions makes it even harder to develop innovative controlling and routing algorithms. The OpenFlow protocol gives us solution to handle hardware parts and controlling logic of a switch separately and makes the network programmable.

Even in case of these programmable networks configurability is quite important. OpenFlow switches can be managed by OpenFlow controllers, but this is not an easy task because controllers are usually used for controlling, not for managing. This is the reason why we need a standard, easy-to-use application for managing OpenFlow switches.

The continuous and rapid development of technology makes it easier to handle daily routines and tasks by using only services on the internet instead of running to a post office or bank. Live sportscasts, videoconferences, almost everything is available on the web. Having these opportunities induce growing needs for better qualities about online services. Different techniques are used to handle this kind of quality issues. A generic name for the aforementioned solutions is Quality of Service (QoS). The QoS is also mentioned in the 1.1.0 version of OpenFlow, so its management and configuration is also an interesting issue. The topic of my thesis is to design and implement an interface through which the configuration of QoS in OpenFlow switches is possible.

The steps of configuring a networking device are more complicated than methods that SNMP can realize. It is designed to make requests for statistical information and status data. Instead, the Netconf protocol fits the requirements of configuring devices on networks, so I used this one for my work. For representing device data I have chosen the Yang language, because it is designed to be the standard data modeling language for Netconf. Yuma toolkit was the working environment I used during the implementation period.

I designed and implemented the Netconf server module that intends to enable a standard way of QoS configuration in OpenFlow networks. During development I also tested continuously that the functionality of the system corresponds the requirements. After the implementation I validated the system in a test network.


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