Department of Computer Science at UH

University of Houston

Department of Computer Science

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of
Master of Science

Praveen Mala

Will defend his thesis

Application Development for the Network Nodes of Software-Defined Networks


OpenFlow is a protocol that enables software-defined networking towards flexible, scalable and programmable network architectures. In classical switches the control plane and the data plane are built into the operating system and the implementation is vendor specific with no opportunity for programmability. OpenFlow protocol enables the separation of the control plane from the switch and moves it to a central server called controller where all the routing decisions are made. The controller is a programmable unit with a centralized visibility of the network. This Architecture opens new opportunities for application development on the controller according to the user needs such as security and quality of service (QoS). One bottleneck observed in this approach is the communication between the switch and the controller due to slow processing central processing units (CPUs) of the switch. The other problem is the rigidity observed in the TCAMs (ternary content addressable memory elements) due to ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) limitations which cannot perform flexible match functions such as Layer5 and Layer 7 match. A split data plane (SDP) architecture has been proposed to address this problem by introducing programmable data plane. A multicore network processing unit (NPU) is housed in the same switch platform together with traditional TCAM-matching section. SDP unit can support flexible match functions and programming. By introducing the programming at the switch level we are opening the network nodes for building applications which will change the way network programming has been realized. The focus of the thesis is the development of applications on SDP towards more flexible and higher performance networks.


Date: Monday, December 3, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM
Place: 550-PGH

Faculty, students, and the general public are invited.
Advisor: Prof. Jaspal Subhlok