Automatic failure recovery for software-defined networks
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Tolerating and recovering from link and switch failures are fundamental requirements of most networks, including Software-Defined Networks (SDNs). However, instead of traditional behaviors such as network-wide routing re-convergence, failure recovery in an SDN is determined by the specific software logic running at the controller. While this admits more freedom to respond to a failure event, it ultimately means that each controller application must include its own recovery logic, which makes the code more difficult to write and potentially more error-prone. In this paper, we propose a runtime system that automates failure recovery and enables network developers to write simpler, failure-agnostic code. To this end, upon detecting a failure, our approach first spawns a new controller instance that runs in an emulated environment consisting of the network topology excluding the failed elements. Then, it quickly replays inputs observed by the controller before the failure occurred, leading the emulated network into the forwarding state that accounts for the failed elements. Finally, it recovers the network by installing the difference ruleset between emulated and current forwarding states.