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INFORMATIONAL

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                  V. Bhuvaneswaran
Request for Comments: 8455                                      A. Basil
Category: Informational                               Veryx Technologies
ISSN: 2070-1721                                             M. Tassinari
                                              Hewlett Packard Enterprise
                                                               V. Manral
                                                                 NanoSec
                                                                S. Banks
                                                          VSS Monitoring
                                                            October 2018


     Terminology for Benchmarking Software-Defined Networking (SDN)
                         Controller Performance

Abstract

   This document defines terminology for benchmarking a Software-Defined
   Networking (SDN) controller's control-plane performance.  It extends
   the terminology already defined in RFC 7426 for the purpose of
   benchmarking SDN Controllers.  The terms provided in this document
   help to benchmark an SDN Controller's performance independently of
   the controller's supported protocols and/or network services.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Not all documents
   approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 7841.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8455.












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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2018 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (https://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................3
      1.1. Conventions Used in This Document ..........................3
   2. Term Definitions ................................................4
      2.1. SDN Terms ..................................................4
           2.1.1. Flow ................................................4
           2.1.2. Northbound Interface ................................4
           2.1.3. Southbound Interface ................................5
           2.1.4. Controller Forwarding Table .........................5
           2.1.5. Proactive Flow Provisioning Mode ....................5
           2.1.6. Reactive Flow Provisioning Mode .....................6
           2.1.7. Path ................................................6
           2.1.8. Standalone Mode .....................................6
           2.1.9. Cluster/Redundancy Mode .............................7
           2.1.10. Asynchronous Message ...............................7
           2.1.11. Test Traffic Generator .............................7
           2.1.12. Leaf-Spine Topology ................................8
      2.2. Test Configuration/Setup Terms .............................8
           2.2.1. Number of Network Devices ...........................8
           2.2.2. Trial Repetition ....................................8
           2.2.3. Trial Duration ......................................9
           2.2.4. Number of Cluster Nodes .............................9
      2.3. Benchmarking Terms .........................................9
           2.3.1. Performance .........................................9
                  2.3.1.1. Network Topology Discovery Time ............9
                  2.3.1.2. Asynchronous Message Processing Time ......10
                  2.3.1.3. Asynchronous Message Processing Rate ......10
                  2.3.1.4. Reactive Path Provisioning Time ...........11
                  2.3.1.5. Proactive Path Provisioning Time ..........12
                  2.3.1.6. Reactive Path Provisioning Rate ...........12
                  2.3.1.7. Proactive Path Provisioning Rate ..........13
                  2.3.1.8. Network Topology Change Detection Time ....13



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           2.3.2. Scalability ........................................14
                  2.3.2.1. Control Sessions Capacity .................14
                  2.3.2.2. Network Discovery Size ....................14
                  2.3.2.3. Forwarding Table Capacity .................15
           2.3.3. Security ...........................................15
                  2.3.3.1. Exception Handling ........................15
                  2.3.3.2. Handling Denial-of-Service Attacks ........16
           2.3.4. Reliability ........................................16
                  2.3.4.1. Controller Failover Time ..................16
                  2.3.4.2. Network Re-provisioning Time ..............17
   3. Test Setup .....................................................17
      3.1. Test Setup - Controller Operating in Standalone Mode ......18
      3.2. Test Setup - Controller Operating in Cluster Mode .........19
   4. Test Coverage ..................................................20
   5. IANA Considerations ............................................21
   6. Security Considerations ........................................21
   7. Normative References ...........................................21
   Acknowledgments ...................................................22
   Authors' Addresses ................................................23

1.  Introduction

   Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is a networking architecture in
   which network control is decoupled from the underlying forwarding
   function and is placed in a centralized location called the SDN
   Controller.  The SDN Controller provides an abstraction of the
   underlying network and offers a global view of the overall network to
   applications and business logic.  Thus, an SDN Controller provides
   the flexibility to program, control, and manage network behavior
   dynamically through northbound and southbound interfaces.  Since the
   network controls are logically centralized, the need to benchmark the
   SDN Controller's performance becomes significant.  This document
   defines terms to benchmark various controller designs for
   performance, scalability, reliability, and security, independently of
   northbound and southbound protocols.  A mechanism for benchmarking
   the performance of SDN Controllers is defined in the companion
   methodology document [RFC8456].  These two documents provide methods
   for measuring and evaluating the performance of various controller
   implementations.

1.1.  Conventions Used in This Document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in
   BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
   capitals, as shown here.




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2.  Term Definitions

2.1.  SDN Terms

   The terms defined in this section are extensions to the terms defined
   in [RFC7426] ("Software-Defined Networking (SDN): Layers and
   Architecture Terminology").  Readers should refer to [RFC7426] before
   attempting to make use of this document.

2.1.1.  Flow

   Definition:
      The definition of "flow" is the same as the definition of
      "microflows" provided in Section 3.1.5 of [RFC4689].

   Discussion:
      A flow can be a set of packets having the same source address,
      destination address, source port, and destination port, or any
      combination of these items.

   Measurement Units:
      N/A

2.1.2.  Northbound Interface

   Definition:
      The definition of "northbound interface" is the same as the
      definition of "service interface" provided in [RFC7426].

   Discussion:
      The northbound interface allows SDN applications and orchestration
      systems to program and retrieve the network information through
      the SDN Controller.

   Measurement Units:
      N/A















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2.1.3.  Southbound Interface

   Definition:
      The southbound interface is the application programming interface
      provided by the SDN Controller to interact with the SDN nodes.

   Discussion:
      The southbound interface enables the controller to interact with
      the SDN nodes in the network for dynamically defining the traffic
      forwarding behavior.

   Measurement Units:
      N/A

2.1.4.  Controller Forwarding Table

   Definition:
      A controller Forwarding Table contains flow entries learned in one
      of two ways: first, entries can be learned from traffic received
      through the data plane, or second, these entries can be statically
      provisioned on the controller and distributed to devices via the
      southbound interface.

   Discussion:
      The controller Forwarding Table has an aging mechanism that will
      be applied only for dynamically learned entries.

   Measurement Units:
      N/A

2.1.5.  Proactive Flow Provisioning Mode

   Definition:
      Controller programming flows in Network Devices based on the flow
      entries provisioned through the controller's northbound interface.

   Discussion:
      Network orchestration systems and SDN applications can define the
      network forwarding behavior by programming the controller, using
      Proactive Flow Provisioning.  The controller can then program the
      Network Devices with the pre-provisioned entries.

   Measurement Units:
      N/A







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2.1.6.  Reactive Flow Provisioning Mode

   Definition:
      Controller programming flows in Network Devices based on the
      traffic received from Network Devices through the controller's
      southbound interface.

   Discussion:
      The SDN Controller dynamically decides the forwarding behavior
      based on the incoming traffic from the Network Devices.  The
      controller then programs the Network Devices, using Reactive Flow
      Provisioning.

   Measurement Units:
      N/A

2.1.7.  Path

   Definition:
      Refer to Section 5 in [RFC2330].

   Discussion:
      None

   Measurement Units:
      N/A

2.1.8.  Standalone Mode

   Definition:
      A single controller handles all control-plane functionalities
      without redundancy, and it is unable to provide high availability
      and/or automatic failover.

   Discussion:
      In standalone mode, one controller manages one or more network
      domains.

   Measurement Units:
      N/A











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2.1.9.  Cluster/Redundancy Mode

   Definition:
      In this mode, a group of two or more controllers handles all
      control-plane functionalities.

   Discussion:
      In cluster mode, multiple controllers are teamed together for the
      purpose of load sharing and/or high availability.  The controllers
      in the group may operate in active/standby (master/slave) or
      active/active (equal) mode, depending on the intended purpose.

   Measurement Units:
      N/A

2.1.10.  Asynchronous Message

   Definition:
      Any message from the Network Device that is generated for network
      events.

   Discussion:
      Control messages like flow setup request and response messages are
      classified as asynchronous messages.  The controller has to return
      a response message.  Note that the Network Device will not be in
      blocking mode and continues to send/receive other control
      messages.

   Measurement Units:
      N/A

2.1.11.  Test Traffic Generator

   Definition:
      The test traffic generator is an entity that generates/receives
      network traffic.

   Discussion:
      The test traffic generator typically connects with Network Devices
      to send/receive real-time network traffic.

   Measurement Units:
      N/A








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2.1.12.  Leaf-Spine Topology

   Definition:
      "Leaf-Spine" is a two-layered network topology, where a series of
      leaf switches that form the access layer are fully meshed to a
      series of spine switches that form the backbone layer.

   Discussion:
      In the Leaf-Spine topology, every leaf switch is connected to each
      of the spine switches in the topology.

   Measurement Units:
      N/A

2.2.  Test Configuration/Setup Terms

2.2.1.  Number of Network Devices

   Definition:
      The number of Network Devices present in the defined test
      topology.

   Discussion:
      The Network Devices defined in the test topology can be deployed
      using real hardware or can be emulated in hardware platforms.

   Measurement Units:
      Number of Network Devices.

2.2.2.  Trial Repetition

   Definition:
      The number of times the test needs to be repeated.

   Discussion:
      The test needs to be repeated for multiple iterations to obtain a
      reliable metric.  It is recommended that this test SHOULD be
      performed for at least 10 iterations to increase confidence in the
      measured results.

   Measurement Units:
      Number of trials.









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2.2.3.  Trial Duration

   Definition:
      Defines the duration of test trials for each iteration.

   Discussion:
      The Trial Duration forms the basis for "stop" criteria for
      benchmarking tests.  Trials not completed within this time
      interval are considered incomplete.

   Measurement Units:
      Seconds.

2.2.4.  Number of Cluster Nodes

   Definition:
      Defines the number of controllers present in the controller
      cluster.

   Discussion:
      This parameter is relevant when testing the controller's
      performance in clustering/teaming mode.  The number of nodes in
      the cluster MUST be greater than 1.

   Measurement Units:
      Number of controller nodes.

2.3.  Benchmarking Terms

   This section defines metrics for benchmarking the SDN Controller.
   The procedure for performing the defined metrics is defined in the
   companion methodology document [RFC8456].

2.3.1.  Performance

2.3.1.1.  Network Topology Discovery Time

   Definition:
      The time taken by the controller(s) to determine the complete
      network topology, defined as the interval starting with the first
      discovery message from the controller(s) at its southbound
      interface and ending with all features of the static topology
      determined.

   Discussion:
      Network topology discovery is key for the SDN Controller to
      provision and manage the network, so it is important to measure
      how quickly the controller discovers the topology to learn the



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      current network state.  This benchmark is obtained by presenting a
      network topology (tree, mesh, or linear) with a specified number
      of nodes to the controller and waiting for the discovery process
      to complete.  It is expected that the controller supports a
      network discovery mechanism and uses protocol messages for its
      discovery process.

   Measurement Units:
      Milliseconds.

2.3.1.2.  Asynchronous Message Processing Time

   Definition:
      The time taken by the controller(s) to process an asynchronous
      message, defined as the interval starting with an asynchronous
      message from a Network Device after the discovery of all the
      devices by the controller(s) and ending with a response message
      from the controller(s) at its southbound interface.

   Discussion:
      For SDN to support dynamic network provisioning, it is important
      to measure how quickly the controller responds to an event
      triggered from the network.  The event can be any notification
      messages generated by a Network Device upon arrival of a new flow,
      link down, etc.  This benchmark is obtained by sending
      asynchronous messages from every connected Network Device one at a
      time for the defined Trial Duration.  This test assumes that the
      controller will respond to the received asynchronous messages.

   Measurement Units:
      Milliseconds.

2.3.1.3.  Asynchronous Message Processing Rate

   Definition:
      The number of responses to asynchronous messages per second (a new
      flow arrival notification message, link down, etc.) for which the
      controller(s) performed processing and replied with a valid and
      productive (non-trivial) response message.

   Discussion:
      As SDN assures a flexible network and agile provisioning, it is
      important to measure how many network events (a new flow arrival
      notification message, link down, etc.) the controller can handle
      at a time.  This benchmark is measured by sending asynchronous
      messages from every connected Network Device at the rate that the
      controller processes (without dropping them).  This test assumes




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      that the controller responds to all the received asynchronous
      messages (the messages can be designed to elicit individual
      responses).

      When sending asynchronous messages to the controller(s) at high
      rates, some messages or responses may be discarded or corrupted
      and require retransmission to controller(s).  Therefore, a useful
      qualification on the Asynchronous Message Processing Rate is
      whether the incoming message count equals the response count in
      each trial.  This is called the Loss-Free Asynchronous Message
      Processing Rate.

      Note that several of the early controller benchmarking tools did
      not consider lost messages and instead report the maximum response
      rate.  This is called the Maximum Asynchronous Message Processing
      Rate.

      To characterize both the Loss-Free Asynchronous Message Processing
      Rate and the Maximum Asynchronous Message Processing Rate, a test
      can begin the first trial by sending asynchronous messages to the
      controller(s) at the maximum possible rate and can then record the
      message reply rate and the message loss rate.  The message-sending
      rate is then decreased by the STEP size.  The message reply rate
      and the message loss rate are recorded.  The test ends with a
      trial where the controller(s) processes all of the asynchronous
      messages sent without loss.  This is the Loss-Free Asynchronous
      Message Processing Rate.

      The trial where the controller(s) produced the maximum response
      rate is the Maximum Asynchronous Message Processing Rate.  Of
      course, the first trial can begin at a low sending rate with zero
      lost responses and then increase the rate until the Loss-Free
      Asynchronous Message Processing Rate and the Maximum Asynchronous
      Message Processing Rate are discovered.

   Measurement Units:
      Messages processed per second.

2.3.1.4.  Reactive Path Provisioning Time

   Definition:
      The time taken by the controller to set up a path reactively
      between source and destination nodes, defined as the interval
      starting with the first flow provisioning request message received
      by the controller(s) and ending with the last flow provisioning
      response message sent from the controller(s) at its southbound
      interface.




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   Discussion:
      As SDN supports agile provisioning, it is important to measure how
      fast the controller provisions an end-to-end flow in the
      data plane.  The benchmark is obtained by sending traffic from a
      source endpoint to the destination endpoint and finding the time
      difference between the first and last flow provisioning message
      exchanged between the controller and the Network Devices for the
      traffic path.

   Measurement Units:
      Milliseconds.

2.3.1.5.  Proactive Path Provisioning Time

   Definition:
      The time taken by the controller to proactively set up a path
      between source and destination nodes, defined as the interval
      starting with the first proactive flow provisioned in the
      controller(s) at its northbound interface and ending with the last
      flow provisioning command message sent from the controller(s) at
      its southbound interface.

   Discussion:
      For SDN to support pre-provisioning of the traffic path from the
      application, it is important to measure how fast the controller
      provisions an end-to-end flow in the data plane.  The benchmark is
      obtained by provisioning a flow on the controller's northbound
      interface for the traffic to reach from a source to a destination
      endpoint and finding the time difference between the first and
      last flow provisioning message exchanged between the controller
      and the Network Devices for the traffic path.

   Measurement Units:
      Milliseconds.

2.3.1.6.  Reactive Path Provisioning Rate

   Definition:
      The maximum number of independent paths a controller can
      concurrently establish per second between source and destination
      nodes reactively, defined as the number of paths provisioned per
      second by the controller(s) at its southbound interface for the
      flow provisioning requests received for path provisioning at its
      southbound interface between the start of the trial and the expiry
      of the given Trial Duration.






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   Discussion:
      For SDN to support agile traffic forwarding, it is important to
      measure how many end-to-end flows the controller can set up in the
      data plane.  This benchmark is obtained by sending each traffic
      flow with unique source and destination pairs from the source
      Network Device and determining the number of frames received at
      the destination Network Device.

   Measurement Units:
      Paths provisioned per second.

2.3.1.7.  Proactive Path Provisioning Rate

   Definition:
      The maximum number of independent paths a controller can
      concurrently establish per second between source and destination
      nodes proactively, defined as the number of paths provisioned per
      second by the controller(s) at its southbound interface for the
      paths provisioned in its northbound interface between the start of
      the trial and the expiry of the given Trial Duration.

   Discussion:
      For SDN to support pre-provisioning of the traffic path for a
      larger network from the application, it is important to measure
      how many end-to-end flows the controller can set up in the
      data plane.  This benchmark is obtained by sending each traffic
      flow with unique source and destination pairs from the source
      Network Device.  Program the flows on the controller's northbound
      interface for traffic to reach from each of the unique source and
      destination pairs, and determine the number of frames received at
      the destination Network Device.

   Measurement Units:
      Paths provisioned per second.

2.3.1.8.  Network Topology Change Detection Time

   Definition:
      The amount of time taken by the controller to detect any changes
      in the network topology, defined as the interval starting with the
      notification message received by the controller(s) at its
      southbound interface and ending with the first topology
      rediscovery messages sent from the controller(s) at its southbound
      interface.







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   Discussion:
      In order for the controller to support fast network failure
      recovery, it is critical to measure how fast the controller is
      able to detect any network-state change events.  This benchmark is
      obtained by triggering a topology change event and measuring the
      time the controller takes to detect and initiate a topology
      rediscovery process.

   Measurement Units:
      Milliseconds.

2.3.2.  Scalability

2.3.2.1.  Control Sessions Capacity

   Definition:
      The maximum number of control sessions the controller can
      maintain, defined as the number of sessions that the controller
      can accept from Network Devices, starting with the first control
      session and ending with the last control session that the
      controller(s) accepts at its southbound interface.

   Discussion:
      Measuring the controller's Control Sessions Capacity is important
      for determining the controller's system and bandwidth resource
      requirements.  This benchmark is obtained by establishing a
      control session with the controller from each of the Network
      Devices until the controller fails.  The number of sessions that
      were successfully established will provide the Control Sessions
      Capacity.

   Measurement Units:
      Maximum number of control sessions.

2.3.2.2.  Network Discovery Size

   Definition:
      The network size (number of nodes and links) that a controller can
      discover, defined as the size of a network that the controller(s)
      can discover, starting with a network topology provided by the
      user for discovery and ending with the number of nodes and links
      that the controller(s) can successfully discover.

   Discussion:
      Measuring the maximum network size that the controller can
      discover is key to optimal network planning.  This benchmark is
      obtained by presenting an initial set of Network Devices for
      discovery to the controller.  Based on the initial discovery, the



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      number of Network Devices is increased or decreased to determine
      the maximum number of nodes and links that the controller can
      discover.

   Measurement Units:
      Maximum number of network nodes and links.

2.3.2.3.  Forwarding Table Capacity

   Definition:
      The maximum number of flow entries that a controller can manage in
      its Forwarding Table.

   Discussion:
      It is important to measure the capacity of a controller's
      Forwarding Table to determine the number of flows that the
      controller can forward without flooding or dropping any traffic.
      This benchmark is obtained by continuously presenting the
      controller with new flow entries through the Reactive Flow
      Provisioning mode or the Proactive Flow Provisioning mode until
      the Forwarding Table becomes full.  The maximum number of nodes
      that the controller can hold in its Forwarding Table will provide
      the Forwarding Table Capacity.

   Measurement Units:
      Maximum number of flow entries managed.

2.3.3.  Security

2.3.3.1.  Exception Handling

   Definition:
      To determine the effect of handling error packets and
      notifications on performance tests.

   Discussion:
      This benchmark is to be performed after obtaining the baseline
      measurement results for the performance tests defined in
      Section 2.3.1.  This benchmark determines the deviation from the
      baseline performance due to the handling of error or failure
      messages from the connected Network Devices.

   Measurement Units:
      Deviation from baseline metrics while handling Exceptions.







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2.3.3.2.  Handling Denial-of-Service Attacks

   Definition:
      To determine the effect of handling denial-of-service (DoS)
      attacks on performance and scalability tests.

   Discussion:
      This benchmark is to be performed after obtaining the baseline
      measurement results for the performance and scalability tests
      defined in Sections 2.3.1 and 2.3.2.  This benchmark determines
      the deviation from the baseline performance due to the handling of
      DoS attacks on the controller.

   Measurement Units:
      Deviation from baseline metrics while handling DoS attacks.

2.3.4.  Reliability

2.3.4.1.  Controller Failover Time

   Definition:
      The time taken to switch from an active controller to the backup
      controller when the controllers operate in redundancy mode and the
      active controller fails, defined as the interval starting when the
      active controller is brought down and ending with the first
      rediscovery message received from the new controller at its
      southbound interface.

   Discussion:
      This benchmark determines the impact of provisioning new flows
      when controllers are teamed together and the active controller
      fails.

   Measurement Units:
      Milliseconds.
















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2.3.4.2.  Network Re-provisioning Time

   Definition:
      The time taken by the controller to reroute traffic when there is
      a failure in existing traffic paths, defined as the interval
      starting with the first failure notification message received by
      the controller and ending with the last flow re-provisioning
      message sent by the controller at its southbound interface.

   Discussion:
      This benchmark determines the controller's re-provisioning ability
      upon network failures and makes the following assumptions:

      1. The network topology supports a redundant path between the
         source and destination endpoints.

      2. The controller does not pre-provision the redundant path.

   Measurement Units:
      Milliseconds.

3.  Test Setup

   This section provides common reference topologies that are referred
   to in individual tests defined in the companion methodology document
   [RFC8456].

























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3.1.  Test Setup - Controller Operating in Standalone Mode

       +-----------------------------------------------------------+
       |               Application-Plane Test Emulator             |
       |                                                           |
       |        +-----------------+      +-------------+           |
       |        |   Application   |      |   Service   |           |
       |        +-----------------+      +-------------+           |
       |                                                           |
       +-----------------------------+(I2)-------------------------+
                                     |
                                     | (Northbound Interface)
                    +-------------------------------+
                    |       +----------------+      |
                    |       | SDN Controller |      |
                    |       +----------------+      |
                    |                               |
                    |    Device Under Test (DUT)    |
                    +-------------------------------+
                                     | (Southbound Interface)
                                     |
       +-----------------------------+(I1)-------------------------+
       |                                                           |
       |             +-----------+     +-----------+               |
       |             |  Network  |     |  Network  |               |
       |             | Device 2  |--..-| Device n-1|               |
       |             +-----------+     +-----------+               |
       |                     /    \   /    \                       |
       |                    /      \ /      \                      |
       |                l0 /        X        \ ln                  |
       |                  /        / \        \                    |
       |               +-----------+  +-----------+                |
       |               |  Network  |  |  Network  |                |
       |               |  Device 1 |..|  Device n |                |
       |               +-----------+  +-----------+                |
       |                     |              |                      |
       |           +---------------+  +---------------+            |
       |           | Test Traffic  |  | Test Traffic  |            |
       |           |  Generator    |  |  Generator    |            |
       |           |    (TP1)      |  |    (TP2)      |            |
       |           +---------------+  +---------------+            |
       |                                                           |
       |              Forwarding-Plane Test Emulator               |
       +-----------------------------------------------------------+

                                 Figure 1





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RFC 8455         SDN Controller Benchmarking Terminology    October 2018


3.2.  Test Setup - Controller Operating in Cluster Mode

       +-----------------------------------------------------------+
       |               Application-Plane Test Emulator             |
       |                                                           |
       |        +-----------------+      +-------------+           |
       |        |   Application   |      |   Service   |           |
       |        +-----------------+      +-------------+           |
       |                                                           |
       +-----------------------------+(I2)-------------------------+
                                     |
                                     | (Northbound Interface)
        +---------------------------------------------------------+
        |                                                         |
        | +------------------+           +------------------+     |
        | | SDN Controller 1 | <--E/W--> | SDN Controller n |     |
        | +------------------+           +------------------+     |
        |                                                         |
        |                    Device Under Test (DUT)              |
        +---------------------------------------------------------+
                                     | (Southbound Interface)
                                     |
       +-----------------------------+(I1)-------------------------+
       |                                                           |
       |             +-----------+     +-----------+               |
       |             |  Network  |     |  Network  |               |
       |             | Device 2  |--..-| Device n-1|               |
       |             +-----------+     +-----------+               |
       |                     /    \   /    \                       |
       |                    /      \ /      \                      |
       |                l0 /        X        \ ln                  |
       |                  /        / \        \                    |
       |               +-----------+  +-----------+                |
       |               |  Network  |  |  Network  |                |
       |               |  Device 1 |..|  Device n |                |
       |               +-----------+  +-----------+                |
       |                     |              |                      |
       |           +---------------+  +---------------+            |
       |           | Test Traffic  |  | Test Traffic  |            |
       |           |  Generator    |  |  Generator    |            |
       |           |    (TP1)      |  |    (TP2)      |            |
       |           +---------------+  +---------------+            |
       |                                                           |
       |              Forwarding-Plane Test Emulator               |
       +-----------------------------------------------------------+

                                 Figure 2




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RFC 8455         SDN Controller Benchmarking Terminology    October 2018


4.  Test Coverage

   +-------------------------------------------------------------------+
   |  Lifecycle |       Speed       |  Scalability  |  Reliability     |
   +------------+-------------------+---------------+------------------+
   |            | 1. Network        |1. Network     |                  |
   |            |    Topology       |   Discovery   |                  |
   |            |    Discovery      |   Size        |                  |
   |            |    Time           |               |                  |
   |            |                   |               |                  |
   |            | 2. Reactive Path  |               |                  |
   |            |    Provisioning   |               |                  |
   |            |    Time           |               |                  |
   |            |                   |               |                  |
   |            | 3. Proactive Path |               |                  |
   |  Setup     |    Provisioning   |               |                  |
   |            |    Time           |               |                  |
   |            |                   |               |                  |
   |            | 4. Reactive Path  |               |                  |
   |            |    Provisioning   |               |                  |
   |            |    Rate           |               |                  |
   |            |                   |               |                  |
   |            | 5. Proactive Path |               |                  |
   |            |    Provisioning   |               |                  |
   |            |    Rate           |               |                  |
   |            |                   |               |                  |
   +------------+-------------------+---------------+------------------+
   |            | 1. Maximum        |1. Control     |1. Network        |
   |            |    Asynchronous   |   Sessions    |   Topology       |
   |            |    Message        |   Capacity    |   Change         |
   |            |    Processing Rate|               |   Detection Time |
   |            |                   |2. Forwarding  |                  |
   |            | 2. Loss-Free      |   Table       |2. Exception      |
   |            |    Asynchronous   |   Capacity    |   Handling       |
   |            |    Message        |               |                  |
   | Operational|    Processing Rate|               |3. Handling       |
   |            |                   |               |   Denial-of-     |
   |            | 3. Asynchronous   |               |   Service Attacks|
   |            |    Message        |               |                  |
   |            |    Processing Time|               |4. Network        |
   |            |                   |               |   Re-provisioning|
   |            |                   |               |   Time           |
   |            |                   |               |                  |
   +------------+-------------------+---------------+------------------+
   | Teardown   |                   |               |1. Controller     |
   |            |                   |               |   Failover Time  |
   +------------+-------------------+---------------+------------------+




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RFC 8455         SDN Controller Benchmarking Terminology    October 2018


5.  IANA Considerations

   This document has no IANA actions.

6.  Security Considerations

   The benchmarking tests described in this document are limited to the
   performance characterization of controllers in a lab environment with
   isolated networks.

   The benchmarking network topology will be an independent test setup
   and MUST NOT be connected to devices that may forward the test
   traffic into a production network or misroute traffic to the test
   management network.

   Further, benchmarking is performed on a "black-box" basis, relying
   solely on measurements observable external to the controller.

   Special capabilities SHOULD NOT exist in the controller specifically
   for benchmarking purposes.  Any implications for network security
   arising from the controller SHOULD be identical in the lab and in
   production networks.

7.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2119>.

   [RFC2330]  Paxson, V., Almes, G., Mahdavi, J., and M. Mathis,
              "Framework for IP Performance Metrics", RFC 2330,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2330, May 1998,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2330>.

   [RFC4689]  Poretsky, S., Perser, J., Erramilli, S., and S. Khurana,
              "Terminology for Benchmarking Network-layer Traffic
              Control Mechanisms", RFC 4689, DOI 10.17487/RFC4689,
              October 2006, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc4689>.

   [RFC7426]  Haleplidis, E., Ed., Pentikousis, K., Ed., Denazis, S.,
              Hadi Salim, J., Meyer, D., and O. Koufopavlou, "Software-
              Defined Networking (SDN): Layers and Architecture
              Terminology", RFC 7426, DOI 10.17487/RFC7426,
              January 2015, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7426>.






Bhuvaneswaran, et al.         Informational                    [Page 21]


RFC 8455         SDN Controller Benchmarking Terminology    October 2018


   [RFC8174]  Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in
              RFC 2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8174, May 2017,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8174>.

   [RFC8456]  Bhuvaneswaran, V., Basil, A., Tassinari, M., Manral, V.,
              and S. Banks, "Benchmarking Methodology for Software-
              Defined Networking (SDN) Controller Performance",
              RFC 8456, DOI 10.17487/RFC8456, October 2018,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8456>.

Acknowledgments

   The authors would like to acknowledge Al Morton (AT&T) for his
   significant contributions to the earlier draft versions of this
   document.  The authors would like to thank the following individuals
   for providing their valuable comments to the earlier draft versions
   of this document: Sandeep Gangadharan (HP), M. Georgescu (NAIST),
   Andrew McGregor (Google), Scott Bradner, Jay Karthik (Cisco),
   Ramki Krishnan (VMware), and Boris Khasanov (Huawei).































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Authors' Addresses

   Bhuvaneswaran Vengainathan
   Veryx Technologies Inc.
   1 International Plaza, Suite 550
   Philadelphia, PA  19113
   United States of America

   Email: bhuvaneswaran.vengainathan@veryxtech.com


   Anton Basil
   Veryx Technologies Inc.
   1 International Plaza, Suite 550
   Philadelphia, PA  19113
   United States of America

   Email: anton.basil@veryxtech.com


   Mark Tassinari
   Hewlett Packard Enterprise
   8000 Foothills Blvd.
   Roseville, CA  95747
   United States of America

   Email: mark.tassinari@hpe.com


   Vishwas Manral
   NanoSec Co
   3350 Thomas Rd.
   Santa Clara, CA  95054
   United States of America

   Email: vishwas.manral@gmail.com


   Sarah Banks
   VSS Monitoring
   930 De Guigne Drive
   Sunnyvale, CA  94085
   United States of America

   Email: sbanks@encrypted.net






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