OFBench: Performance test suite on OpenFlow switches

Ying-Dar Lin, Yu Kuen Lai*, Chen You Wang, Yuan Cheng Lai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Performance issues of OpenFlow switches are attracting a lot of attention owing to the potential large-scale deployment of software-defined devices. This paper presents the OFBench which is an automatic test suite for evaluating the performance of OpenFlow switches. The design, as part of the Automation Control Test System (ACTS) development, is based on a controller-agent architecture which allows the development of test cases that are written in a high-level script language. In addition to the end-to-end measurement methodology, novel methods are proposed to further profile the internal performance metrics, which are difficult to get due to the black-box nature of the device under test. The prototype of this suite currently comprises five test cases to evaluate five performance metrics, which are action time, pipeline time, buffer size, pipeline efficiency, and timeout accuracy. OpenFlow switches are evaluated and three issues are observed associated with switches during the testing. First, some switches may not be well implemented in the design of apply-action instructions. Second, some switches suffer from random crashes with a high volume of bursty packet-in traffic. Finally, the timer of idle-timeout is often not reset properly with matching flow entry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7976288
Pages (from-to)2949-2959
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Systems Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018


  • Computer networks
  • Openflow protocol
  • Performance evaluation
  • Software-defined networks
  • System Performance
  • Testing

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