Wenrui MaFollow

Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor's Name

Deng Pan

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Sundaraja Sitharama Iyengar

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Niki Pissinou

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Jason Liu

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Gang Quan

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Date of Defense



Middleboxes, such as firewalls, Network Address Translators (NATs), Wide Area Network (WAN) optimizers, or Deep Packet Inspector (DPIs), are widely deployed in modern networks to improve network security and performance. Traditional middleboxes are typically hardware based, which are expensive and closed systems with little extensibility. Furthermore, they are developed by different vendors and deployed as standalone devices with little scalability. As the development of networks in scale, the limitations of traditional middleboxes bring great challenges in middlebox deployments.

Network Function Virtualization (NFV) technology provides a promising alternative, which enables flexible deployment of middleboxes, as virtual machines (VMs) running on standard servers. However, the flexibility also creates a challenge for efficiently placing such middleboxes, due to the availability of multiple hosting servers, capabilities of middleboxes to change traffic volumes, and dependency between middleboxes. In our first two work, we addressed the optimal placement challenge of NFV middleboxes by considering middlebox traffic changing effects and dependency relations. Since each VM has only a limited processing capacity restricted by its available resources, multiple instances of the same function are necessary in an NFV network. Thus, routing in an NFV network is also a challenge to determine not only via a path from the source to destination but also the service (middlebox) locations. Furthermore, the challenge is complicated by the traffic changing effects of NFV services and dependency relations between them. In our third work, we studied how to efficiently route a flow to receive services in an NFV network.

We conducted large-scale simulations to evaluate our proposed solutions, and also implemented a Software-Defined Networking (SDN) based prototype to validate the solutions in realistic environments. Extensive simulation and experiment results have been fully demonstrated the effectiveness of our design.





Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).