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Conference Paper
Kriaa, S., Papillon, S., Jagadeesan, L., Mendiratta, V..  2020.  Better Safe than Sorry: Modeling Reliability and Security in Replicated SDN Controllers. 2020 16th International Conference on the Design of Reliable Communication Networks DRCN 2020. :1—6.
Software-defined networks (SDN), through their programmability, significantly increase network resilience by enabling dynamic reconfiguration of network topologies in response to faults and potentially malicious attacks detected in real-time. Another key trend in network softwarization is cloud-native software, which, together with SDN, will be an integral part of the core of future 5G networks. In SDN, the control plane forms the "brain" of the software-defined network and is typically implemented as a set of distributed controller replicas to avoid a single point of failure. Distributed consensus algorithms are used to ensure agreement among the replicas on key data even in the presence of faults. Security is also a critical concern in ensuring that attackers cannot compromise the SDN control plane; byzantine fault tolerance algorithms can provide protection against compromised controller replicas. However, while reliability/availability and security form key attributes of resilience, they are typically modeled separately in SDN, without consideration of the potential impacts of their interaction. In this paper we present an initial framework for a model that unifies reliability, availability, and security considerations in distributed consensus. We examine – via simulation of our model – some impacts of the interaction between accidental faults and malicious attacks on SDN and suggest potential mitigations unique to cloud-native software.