Network virtualization is seen as a key networking paradigm for building diverse network services and architectures over a shared network infrastructure. Assigning network resources to virtual links and, more generally to virtual network topologies, efficiently and on-demand is one of the most challenging components of any network virtualization solution. This paper addresses the problem of on-line resource allocation of multiple virtual links on a Software Defined Network (SDN) infrastructure. The application context that is targeted is primarily the online provisioning of virtual overlay networks even if it can be broadened to address more general virtual networks. Considering an SDN physical infrastructure allows a complete freedom in choosing the optimal physical paths and the associated resources that support the virtual links with no interference from any other network function (such as routing).
However, for the time being, forwarding in an SDN network is resource consuming with a noticeable impact on the size of the flow tables. Hence, forwarding (i.e. switching) resources should be carefully considered by the network resource allocation algorithm. This paper proposes a novel Integer-Linear formulation of the above cited problem by taking into account: (1) point-to-point as well as point-to-multipoint virtual links, each with an associated bandwidth requirement and a maximum transfer delay requirement, (2) two types of network resources, namely network links’ bandwidth and nodes’ switching resources, and (3) optionally, path splitting which allows a virtual link to be established on multiple physical paths. We report preliminary experimental results on a real network topology in an overloaded scenario (bandwidth requests largely exceed network capacity); they show that our algorithm outperforms shortest path heuristics with a gain on the admission rate (of virtual links requests) that ranges from 5 to 15% (compared to the most efficient heuristic) and wit- a computation time less than a few seconds.