Toward a semantic-based packet forwarding model for Openflow

Openflow is a step towards a more flexible data plane. In Openflow-based deployments, packet forwarding model relies on a set of pipelined tables. However, supporting multiple hardware tables is challenging while having serious limitations.

In this paper, we investigate a novel approach to packet forwarding design that tailors Openflow forwarding paths according to the underlying hardware. Its main goal is to provide an optimal mapping of entries to physical search structures. To that end, conceptual abstractions are used in devising a semantically rich and high-performance packet forwarding.