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Published on Dec 4, 2012
Raphael Amorim (Instituto Atlântico)
OpenFlow is based on an Ethernet switch, with an internal flow-table, and a standardized interface to add and remove flow entries. It's becoming incredibly popular and major players in the networking industry are adopting OpenFlow as a primary part of their strategy. HP, for instance, has announced this year that they have added OpenFlow support throughout their ProCurve switches family. Google also announced that they're using Openflow in their internal infrastructure. OpenFlow is a great concept, but its original design imposes excessive overheads. It can simplify network and traffic management in enterprise and data center environments, because it enables flow-level control over Ethernet switching and provides global visibility of the flows in the network. However, such fine-grained control and visibility comes with costs, when you lead with centered management. LuaFlow brings near-optimal traffic management, by effectively managing the performance of the network and minimizing the current load in the server. It also provides a consistent API for extension and flexibility for integrating with third-party tools. We give three examples where the controller is needed to manage traffic: network services load balancing and ID-based QoS using 802.1x authentication.