Network Hypervisors: Enhancing SDN Infrastructure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Software-Defined Networking (SDN) has been widely recognized as a promising way to deploy new services and protocols in future networks. The ability to "program" the network enables applications to create innovative new services inside the network itself. However, current SDN programmability comes with downsides that could hinder its adoption and deployment. First, in order to offer complete control, today's SDN networks provide low-level API's on which almost any type of service can be written. Because the starting point is a set of low-level API calls, implementing high-level complex services needed by future network applications becomes a challenging task. Second, the set of emerging SDN technologies that are beginning to appear have little in common with one another, making it difficult to set up a flow that traverses multiple SDN technologies/providers. In this paper we propose a new way to set up SDN networks spanning multiple SDN providers. The key to our approach is a Network Hypervisor service. The Network Hypervisor offers high-level abstractions and APIs that greatly simplify the task of creating complex SDN network services. Moreover, the Network Hypervisor is capable of internetworking various SDN providers together under a single interface/abstraction so that applications can establish end-to-end flows without the need to see, or deal with, the differences between SDN providers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-96
Number of pages10
JournalComputer Communications
StatePublished - Jun 15 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grants CNS-0834243 and CNS-1111040 .


  • HyperNet
  • Network Hypervisor
  • SDN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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