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Intent and SDN Driven Service Chain: What, Why, and How

Service Chaining refers to an ordered sequence of service functions that a specific flow must go through. In current Data Center, the deployment of service chain for a tenant's flow is through static, complex, and rigid configurations since they are tightly coupled with network topology and physical resources.  The introduction of new services into a network usually requires the reconfiguration of most (if not all) network elements.  The reconfiguration is complex, time-consuming, and error-prone, requiring careful planning of topology changes and network outages, and incurring high OPEX on the user side.  Things become unmanageble when services are deployed in the cloud: • Diferent tenants' flows may require different chains of services. Even within one tenant network, different application flows may require different chains of services. This leads to explosion of the number of chains that need to be manually managed • The administrator may need to change the chain of services in real time based on service treatment result or network status feedback. It is impossible to meet th real-time requirement through manual configurations on all the devices A simple intent based user interface and a SDN based service chaining framework is needed to solve these challenges for operators and service providers.   In this presentation, we will show how the intent driven and SDN based service chaining framework can greatly simplfies the user's life and reduces the OPEX as well as how it enables agile deployment of services. We will also show how this service chaining framework can interoperate with both legacy and new service appliances, which allows for the building of a large ecosystem aross different domains of the network.   Our solution framework represents an evolution from the static setup of a service path through manual configurations on physical devices to dynamic setup of service paths through simple user intent specification and SDN auto-programming on both physical and virtual nodes.   

Speakers: David Lenrow,Kyle Mestery,Cathy Zhang