A green energy-aware hybrid virtual network embedding approach

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Computer Networks


© 2015 Published by Elsevier B.V. In the past few years, the concept of network virtualization has received significant attention from industry and research fora, as it represents a promising way to diversify existing networks and ensure the co-existence of heterogeneous network architectures on top of shared substrates. Virtual network embedding (VNE) is the process of dynamically mapping virtual resources (i.e. virtual nodes and links) onto physical substrate resources. VNE is the main resource allocation challenge in network virtualization and is considered as an NP-hard problem. Several centralized and distributed VNE approaches have been proposed, with the aim of satisfying different objectives ranging from QoS, to economical profit, and network survivability. More recently, emerging VNE approaches started investigating the optimization of new objectives such as energy-efficiency and networks' security. In this work, we propose a green energy-aware hybrid VNE hybrid VN embedding approach that aims at achieving energy efficiency and resource consolidation, while minimizing CO2 emissions resulting from VNs operation. This approach consists of a hierarchical virtual networking management architecture in which control and management nodes collaborate for the splitting and embedding of sub-VNs requests to the cleanest substrate resources (i.e. the resources deployed in a sector with the smallest CO2 emission factor) available. Three different variants of our VNE algorithms, taking into consideration different resources' selection criteria (i.e. energy source, request priority, and request location) are presented, and their performance is compared with two existing VNE algorithms based on centralized and distributed embedding approaches. The comparative performance analysis shows that our proposed approach enables a more efficient VN embedding in terms of: a reduced number of substrate resources needed, a faster request mapping time, as well as resource consolidation and reduced resource cost. Furthermore, it enables a reduction of the carbon footprint of the VNE operation, thus resulting in a more green and environmentally conscious approach to network virtualization.

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