Floware: Balanced flow monitoring in software defined networks

Luiza Nacshon, Rami Puzis, Polina Zilberman

arXiv preprint arXiv:1608.03307, 2016

OpenFlow is a protocol implementing Software Defined Networking, a new networking paradigm, which segregates packet forwarding and accounting (performed on switches) from the routing decisions and advanced protocols (executed on a central controller). This segregation increases agility and flexibility of a networking infrastructure and reduces its operational expenses. OpenFlow controllers expose standard interfaces to facilitate variety of networking applications. In particular, a monitoring application can use these interfaces to push into the OpenFlow switches rules that collect traffic flow statistics at different aggregation levels. The aggregation level determines the monitoring accuracy and the induced network overhead. In this paper, we propose Floware an OpenFlow application that allows discovery and monitoring of active flows at any required aggregation level. Floware balances the monitoring overhead among many switches in order to reduce its negative effect on network performance. In addition, Floware integrates with monitoring systems based on legacy protocols such as NetFlow. We demonstrate the application with soft switches emulated in Mininet, the Floodlight controller, and the NetFlow Analyzer as a legacy network analysis and intrusion detection system. Evaluation results demonstrate the positive impact of balanced monitoring.