Most network deployments respond to changing application, workload, and policy requirements via the deployment of specialized network appliances or "middle- boxes". Today, however, middlebox platforms are ex- pensive and closed systems, with little/no hooks for extensibility. Furthermore, they are acquired from independent vendors and deployed as standalone devices with little cohesiveness in how the ensemble of middleboxes is managed. As network requirements continue to grow in both scale and variety, this bottom-up approach leads middlebox deployments on a trajectory of growing device sprawl with corresponding escalation in capital and management costs.
To address this challenge, we present CoMb, a new architecture for middlebox deployments that systematically applies the design principle of consolidation, both at the level of building individual middleboxes and managing a network of middleboxes. This paper addresses key resource management and implementation challenges that arise in exploiting the benefits of con- solidation in middlebox deployments. Using a prototype implementation in Click, we show that CoMb can reduce the network provisioning cost by up to 2.5x and reduce the load imbalance in a network by up to 25x.
Design and Implementation of a Consolidated Middlebox Architecture
Researchers may make free and open use of the UC Berkeley Library’s digitized public domain materials. However, some materials in our online collections may be protected by U.S. copyright law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Use or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use (Title 17, U.S.C. § 107) requires permission from the copyright owners. The use or reproduction of some materials may also be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, privacy and publicity rights, or trademark law. Responsibility for determining rights status and permissibility of any use or reproduction rests exclusively with the researcher. To learn more or make inquiries, please see our permissions policies (https://www.lib.berkeley.edu/about/permissions-policies).