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Cloud network systems and applications are tested in simulation and emulation environments prior to physical deployments, at different stages of development. Software-Defined Networking (SDN) enables separating logic and execution from the data plane consisting of switches and hosts, to a logically centralized control plane. The global view and control available to the controller enable incremental updates, management, and allocation of resources to the networks. However, unlike the physical networks or the networks emulated by the emulators, current network simulators still lack integration with the SDN controllers.
Hence, currently it is impossible to efficiently orchestrate a simulated network through a centralized controller, or realistically model the controller algorithms and SDN architectures without having the resources for a one-to-one emulation. To address this, this paper presents SDNSim, an SDN simulation middleware, which leverages the principles of SDN for continuous development of cloud and data center networks. SDNSim is an “SDN-aware” network simulator that integrates with the controller through plugins for southbound protocols such as OpenFlow, to execute the algorithms incrementally thus deployed in the control plane.