BNV: Enabling Scalable Network Experimentation through Bare-metal Network Virtualization


Pravein Govindan Kannan, Ahmad Soltani, Mun Choon Chan, and Ee-Chien Chang, School of Computing, National University of Singapore


New paradigms and architectures, such as Software Defined Networking (SDN), have added an unprecedented increase in the rate of research and development conducted in the field of computer networks. With this increase, there is a rising need for platforms that can enable researchers and operators to experiment with various scenarios involving performance testing, topology designs, etc. However, the available emulators fail to address fundamental needs of those research requiring fidelity.

In this work, we propose a novel approach to embed arbitrary topologies on a substrate network of programmable ToR switches using our network virtualization technique, called Bare-metal Network Virtualization(BNV). BNV is entirely software configurable and has been implemented on open source software and unmodified OpenFlow-enabled switches. The system has been deployed in a production testbed in National Cybersecurity Laboratory (NCL) for over nine months. Our evaluations show that BNV can support various data-center topologies with less number of switches which can facilitate building a high fidelity, repeatable and isolated experimentation platform for data-center, SDN and other research in computer networks.

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@inproceedings {220235,
author = {Pravein Govindan Kannan and Ahmad Soltani and Mun Choon Chan and Ee-Chien Chang},
title = {{BNV}: Enabling Scalable Network Experimentation through Bare-metal Network Virtualization},
booktitle = {11th USENIX Workshop on Cyber Security Experimentation and Test (CSET 18)},
year = {2018},
address = {Baltimore, MD},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug