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October 2012 Vol 3, No. 5

Building on OpenFlow, FlowVisor offers path towards open network virtualization

FlowVisor, a network virtualization platform that builds on OpenFlow, moves open software-defined networking (SDN) up the stack by allowing easy slicing of a physical network into multiple logical networks. It gives administrators the power to manage with broadly defined rules rather than by tweaking a collection of routers and switches. Installed on commodity hardware, FlowVisor is a special OpenFlow controller that acts as a transparent proxy between a network of OpenFlow switches and other standard OpenFlow controllers. While still considered experimental and lacking some basic features, such as command-line management tools, FlowVisor has been deployed in production environments at scale, including powering Stanford's campus network since 2009. FlowVisor slices up physical networks through an abstraction layer that is equivalent to how a hypervisor sits between server hardware and software, allowing multiple virtualized operating systems to run. FlowVisor sits between a set of switches -- and the software defined network or ...

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