Software-Defined Networking and Network Functions Virtualization

Software Defined Networking (SDN) has rapidly emerged as a promising solution to build the future Internet. Current legacy network devices are typically proprietary, closed, and complex platforms, severely throttling innovation in networking for years. To break the long-lasting barrier, SDN is designed to separate intelligent control plane (controller) from switching fabrics, and make data plane simple and fast at forwarding packets, ushering in enormous opportunities for rapid open innovations and quick creation of customer services.

While SDN suggests a new network architecture for open service introduction, its openness also has caused serious security and performance issues, which drive us to dedicate the research efforts on various SDN topics, including SDN security, SDN policy updates, SDN data-plane verification, etc.

Network Operator's networks are populated with a large and increasing variety of proprietary hardware appliances. Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) aims to address increasing problems resulted from proprietary hardware appliances by leveraging standard IT virtualization technology to consolidate many network equipment types onto industry standard high volume servers, switches and storage, which could be located in Datacenters, Network Nodes and in the end user premises. Network Functions Virtualization is highly complementary to Software Defined Networking. Virtualizing Network Functions could potentially offer many benefits, including , but not limited to, reducing equipment cost and power cost, increasing speed of Time to Market, providing network appliance multi-tenancy.

However, there are unique challenges and opportunities to ensuring service availability, maintaining resiliency in an NFV-based system. It is also critical to assure the security of NFV along with cloud computing, since a large fraction of the global economy depends on it.