Journal article Open Access
A. Giorgetti; A. Sgambelluri; F. Paolucci; F. Cugini; P. Castoldi
Segment routing is an emerging traffic engineering technique relying on Multi-protocol Label-Switched (MPLS) label stacking to steer traffic using the source-routing paradigm. Traffic flows are enforced through a given path by applying a specifically designed stack of labels (i.e., the segment list). Each packet is then forwarded along the shortest path toward the network element represented by the top label. Unlike traditional MPLS networks, segment routing maintains a per-flow state only at the ingress node; no signaling protocol is required to establish new flows or change the routing of active flows. Thus, control plane scalability is greatly improved. Several segment routing use cases have recently been proposed. As an example, it can be effectively used to dynamically steer traffic flows on paths characterized by low latency values. However, this may suffer from some potential issues. Indeed, deployed MPLS equipment typically supports a limited number of stacked labels. Therefore, it is important to define the proper procedures to minimize the required segment list depth. This work is focused on two relevant segment routing use cases: dynamic traffic recovery and traffic engineering in multi-domain networks. Indeed, in both use cases, the utilization of segment routing can significantly simplify the network operation with respect to traditional Internet Protocol (IP)/MPLS procedures. Thus, two original procedures based on segment routing are proposed for the aforementioned use cases. Both procedures are evaluated including a simulative analysis of the segment list depth. Moreover, an experimental demonstration is performed in a multi-layer test bed exploiting a software-defined-networking-based implementation of segment routing.