Low-latency Service Chaining with Predefined NSH-based Multipath across Multiple Datacenters

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4 Scopus citations


Service Function Chaining (SFC) provides a method of forwarding traffic flows through one or more service functions (SFs). For service providers, chaining SFs across multiple datacenters to deliver end-to-end services not only provides better utilization of computing resources of datacenters, but also achieves scalability and fault tolerance. However, most telecommunication applications are sensitive to latency, which tends to degrade due to both virtualization and the long distances among datacenters. In this paper, we extend the network service header (NSH) protocol and propose a multipath chaining with the partially-ordered NSH (MCPON) mechanism to achieve low-latency, partially-ordered service function chaining. MCPON adopts a proactive multipath installation for commonly-used service function paths (SFP, a sequence of requisite SFs) to eliminate reactive path decision delays and to reduce end-to-end service latency. To increase multipath diversity for better load balancing, we modify the original NSH encapsulation design so that the multiple paths selected for an SFP are not limited to having the same execution orders of some non-order-constrained SFs. MCPON also utilizes an entry-saving forwarding table design which enables forwarding entries to be shared among different SFC requests. Our evaluations show that proactive k-path computation for an SFC of length l at a scale of n SFFs saves time complexity of O(kln), and multipath service chaining reduces latency by 33–68% compared to single-path service chaining in our simulation scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages1
JournalIEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Delays
  • Encapsulation
  • Heuristic algorithms
  • Load management
  • Low latency communication
  • Multipath
  • Network Service Header
  • Routing
  • Service function chaining
  • Service function chaining


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