Joint optimization of service function chaining and resource allocation in network function virtualization

Wang, Luhan; Lu, Zhaoming; Wen, Xiangming; Knopp, Raymond; Gupta, Rohit
IEEE Access, Vol. 4, 2016

Network function virtualization (NFV) has already been a new paradigm for network architectures. By migrating NFs from dedicated hardware to virtualization platform, NFV can effectively improve the flexibility to deploy and manage service function chains (SFCs). However, resource allocation for requested SFC in NFV-based infrastructures is not trivial as it mainly consists of three phases: virtual network functions (VNFs) chain composition, VNFs forwarding graph embedding, and VNFs scheduling. The decision of these three phases can be mutually dependent, which also makes it a tough task. Therefore, a coordinated approach is studied in this paper to jointly optimize NFV resource allocation in these three phases. We apply a general cost model to consider both network costs and service performance. The coordinate NFV-RA is formulated as a mixed-integer linear programming, and a heuristic-based algorithm (JoraNFV) is proposed to get the near optimal solution. To make the coordinated NFV-RA more tractable, JoraNFV is divided into two sub-algorithms, one-hop optimal traffic scheduling and a multi-path greedy algorithm for VNF chain composition and VNF forwarding graph embedding. Last, extensive simulations are performed to evaluate the performance of JoraNFV, and results have shown that JoraNFV can get a solution within 1.25 times of the optimal solution with reasonable execution time, which indicates that JoraNFV can be used for online NFV planning.

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