Benchmarking of physical SDN switches




Greater Copenhagen area

In order to build their network infrastructure, telecommunication providers and datacenter operators invest huge sums of money in networking equipment. However, depending on the business/use case the requirements from the desired networking equipment can vary significantly. To ensure that what they buy is what they need; telco providers and datacenter operators request benchmarking of the equipment. During the benchmarking process, the Device Under Test (DUT) is put through rigorous testing to evaluate its performance and catalog its capabilities.

Scope of the project 
The scope of this project is to benchmark a set of physical SDN switches [1]. The benchmarking process should follow benchmarking best practices (f. ex. [2] [3]). 

The following is a list of (non-exhaustive) elements that should be evaluated during the benchmarking process: 

1. Throughput
Using traffic generators the student should evaluate the throughput that the DUT can handle, in varying scenarios. Some example variables that can define the different scenarios are:
- Number of utilized physical ports.
- Number of traffic flows.
- Packet size
- Packet rate

2. Performance of the flow table implementation
The student should evaluate the flow table implementation of the DUT, based on the following three criteria.
- Size of the flow table
Evaluate how many flow rules the flow table can accommodate. Additionally, evaluate how   the granularity of the flow matching affects the number of installed flow rules.
- Flow installation rate
How many flow rule installation actions can the device handle per second.
- Packet matching rate
How many packets per second can the flow table implementation handle.

3. OpenFlow 1.3 [4 ]features support
The student should evaluate how the DUT complies with the OpenFlow 1.3 specification, in terms of OpenFlow messages and features. Some example features that can be verified are:
- Supported packet headers for packet matching.
- OpenFlow Meters

4. Compatibility with the ONOS [5] SDN controller
The student should verify the compatibility of the DUT with the latest version of ONOS. To do so, a set of network topologies and traffic scenarios will have to be designed and executed, that can showcase the capabilities of the ONOS controller. Some example functionalities that must be verified through these scenarios are:
- Can ONOS identify the DUTs in the network?
- Can ONOS install and remove flow rules from the DUTs?
- Operation of the ONOS intent framework.
- Can ONOS collect statistics from the switches?

[1] ”Zodiac FX, SDN switch”,[Online],
[2] Avramov, L. and J. Rapp, "Data Center Benchmarking Methodology", RFC 8239, DOI 10.17487/RFC8239, August 2017, <>.
[3] Avramov, L. and J. Rapp, "Data Center Benchmarking Terminology", RFC 8238, DOI 10.17487/RFC8238, August 2017, <>.
[4] Open Networking Foundation, “OpenFlow Switch Specification”,  April 25, 2013
[5] “ONOS website”, [Online],


Basic, hands-on, programming experience in Java, Basic knowledge of SDN concepts and protocols (i.e. Openflow), Basic, hands-on, experience with the ONOS SDN controller.

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Company / Organization

DTU Fotonik


José Soler




Supervisor info

MSc in Telecommunication


José Soler


Angelos Mimidis Kentis

ECTS credits

30 - 35


MSc thesis

Technical University of Denmark

For almost two centuries DTU, Technical University of Denmark, has been dedicated to fulfilling the vision of H.C. Ørsted – the father of electromagnetism – who founded the university in 1829 to develop and create value using the natural sciences and the technical sciences to benefit society.

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