CNSM 2017
Conference paper

Real-time security services for SDN-based datacenters

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While the scale, frequency and impact of the recent cyber- and DoS-attacks have all increased, the traditional security management systems are still supervised by human operators in the decisional loop. To cope with the new breed of machine-driven attacks - particularly those designed to overload the humans in the loop - the next-generation anomaly detection and attack mitigation schema, i.e. the network security management, must improve greatly in speed and accuracy: become machine-driven, too. As infrastructure we propose an FPGA-accelerated Network Function Virtualization that potentially enhances the current multi-Tbps switching fabrics with SDN-based security capabilities of vastly higher performance and scalability. As key novelties, we contribute (i) sub-ms detection lag (ii) of the top 9 Akamai attacks [1] with (iii) a real-time SDN feedback loop between a distributed programmable data plane and a centralized SDN controller, (iv) coupled via a global N:1 mirror. We validate the concept in an actual datacenter network with a new security application that can detect and mitigate real-world dDoS attacks, with lags from 430 us up to 3 ms - several orders of magnitude faster than before.