Software-defined networking switches for fast single-link failure recovery

Dawei Li, Jie Wu, Dajin Wang, Jiayin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we consider IP fast recovery from single-link failures in a given network topology. The basic idea is to replace some existing routers with a designated switch. When a link fails, the affected router will send all the affected traffic to the designated switch (through pre-configured IP tunnels), which will deliver the affected traffic to its destination without using the failed link. The goal of the approach is to achieve faster failure recovery than traditional routing protocols that employ reactive computing upon link failures. Software-Defined Networking (SDN) switches can serve as the designated switches because they can flexibly redirect affected traffic to other routes, instead of only to the shortest paths in the network. However, SDN switches are very expensive. Our objective is to minimize the number of SDN switches needed and to guarantee that the network can still recover from any single-link failure. For networks with uniform link costs, we show that using normal non-SDN switches with IP tunneling capability as designated switches can guarantee recovery from any single-link failure. For networks with general link costs, we find that not all single-link failures can be recovered by using non-SDN switches as designated switches; by using SDN switches only when necessary, we can reduce the total number of SDN switches needed compared to an existing work. We conduct extensive simulations to verify our proposed approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1850014
JournalJournal of Interconnection Networks
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • IP tunneling
  • Software-defined networking (SDN)
  • equal cost multi-path (ECMP)
  • failure recovery
  • shortest paths


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