MaxiNet: Distributed emulation of software-defined networks

MaxiNet: Distributed emulation of software-defined networks Network emulations are widely used for testing novel network protocols and routing algorithms in realistic scenarios. Up to now, there is no emulation tool that is able to emulate large software-defined data center networks that consist of several thousand nodes. Mininet is the most common tool to emulate Software-Defined Networks of several hundred nodes. We extend Mininet to span an emulated network over several physical machines, making it possible to emulate networks of several thousand nodes on just a handful of physical machines. This enables us to emulate, e.g., large data center networks. To test this approach, we additionally introduce a traffic generator for data center traffic. Since there are no data center traffic traces publicly available we use the results of two recent traffic studies to create synthetic traffic. We show the design and discuss some challenges we had in building our traffic generator. As a showcase for our work we emulated a data center consisting of 3200 hosts on a cluster of only 12 physical machines. We show the resulting workloads and the trade-offs involved.