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COMP520 - Investigation into Building an OpenFlow-enabled BNG




In carrier-grade Internet Service Provider (ISP) networks the Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) is a specialised network server which sits at the core of an ISP network. The responsibilities of the BNG include the facilitation and aggregation of active user sessions from the ISP’s access network, and providing Internet Protocol (IP) connectivity through the ISP backbone network to the Internet. In a typical ISP carrier network, the BNG is one of the most expensive appliances and carries a high degree of responsibility. Due to the cost, it is common for there to be only a single centralised BNG, which presents a singular point of failure (SPOF) for all ISP subscriber access to the Internet.

This project aims to investigate whether the centralised BNG model is able to be redesigned using a new approach to computer networking called Software Defined Networking (SDN). Using SDN and the OpenFlow protocol will allow for the separation of the traffic forwarding logic of a switch from the data plane, enabling that logic to be moved into an application running in software. This results in a much more software oriented approach to network design and the control and configuration of switches. This project aims to investigate the removal of singular dependence on the centralised BNG model by distributing the functionality of a BNG among a network of commodity switches. There is a strong focus on implementing support for a number of important session establishment protocols and how these can be used to make necessary dynamic traffic forwarding decisions, as well as the investigation of a carrier-grade distributed software controller.

Craig Osborne
520-Osborne-Craig.pdf938.97 KB