SDN-controlled and orchestrated OPSquare DCN enabling automatic network slicing with differentiated QoS provisioning

Xuwei Xue (Corresponding author), Fu Wang, Fernando Agraz, Albert Pagès, Bitao Pan, Fulong Yan, Xiaotao Guo, Salvatore Spadaro, Nicola Calabretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Optical switching techniques have the potential to enable the optical data center network (DCN) interconnections providing high capacity and fast switching capabilities, overcoming thus the bandwidth and latency bottleneck of present electrical switch-based multi-tiered DCNs. The rapid growth of multi-tenant applications with heterogeneous traffic require specialized quality of service (QoS) in terms of packet loss and latency to the DCN infrastructure. Slicing the DCNs into dedicated pieces according to the deployed applications, differentiated QoS, and high resource utilization can be provided. However, slicing the optical DCNs still needs to be investigated because the Software-defined Networking (SDN) technique is developed for the electrical networks, not fully supporting the properties of the optical network. Additionally, Network Slices (NS) need to be automatically provisioned and reconfigured, to provide flexible slice interconnections in support of the multi-tenant applications to be deployed. In this article, we propose and experimentally assess the automatic and flexible NSs configurations of optical OPSquare DCN controlled and orchestrated by an extended SDN control plane for multi-tenant applications with differentiated QoS provisioning. Optical Flow Control (OFC) protocol has been developed to prevent packet losses at switch sides caused by packet contentions. The extended OpenFlow (OF) protocol of SDN is deployed as well in support of the optical switching characteristics. Based on the collected resource topology of data plane, the optical network slices can be dynamically provisioned and automatically reconfigured by the SDN control plane. Meanwhile, experimental results validate that the priority assignment of application flows supplies dynamic QoS performance to various slices running applications with specific requirements in terms of packet loss and transmission latency. In addition, the capability of exposing traffic statistics information of data plane to SDN control plane enables the implementation of load balancing algorithms further improving the network performance with high QoS. No packet loss and less than 4.8 μs server-to-server latency can be guaranteed for the sliced network with highest priority at a load of 0.5.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8955836
Pages (from-to)1103-1112
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2020


  • Data center network
  • Flow control
  • Optical interconnects
  • Optical switches
  • Software defined networking


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