SDN Augmented Network Management for Future Avionics Communications Network

Muhammad Ali, Yim Fun Hu, Doanh Kim Luong, Rameez Asif, Kanaan Abdo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The process of network management has always been complicated and challenging in traditional networks. Network operators in traditional networks have to cope with unavoidable constraints of low level vendor specific configurations to implement network policies on different networking devices from multiple vendors. Despite many previous proposals to make networks easier to manage, there were still several complicated and scalability issues remained unresolved particularly in scenarios where multivendor networking devices are deployed over large networks. This rigid behavior of vendor specific underlying infrastructure devices configuration and maintenance results in very few possibilities for innovation, enhancement, and improvement since the networking devices have generally been closed and proprietary. This lack of coherence in different vendor specific networking infrastructure devices was acting as a point of main hindrance in making the network management process a simple and easy to operate for network operators. The future avionics communications network being heterogeneous wireless communications network as presented in Future Communications Infrastructure (FCI) document also foresees similar network management issues.The paradigm of Software Defined Networking (SDN) proposes an effective way of tackling the issues in network management by separating the control and management plane from the data plane. The core idea of SDN is to keep networking devices i.e. switches and routers in the forwarding or data plane, responsible for simply forwarding data packets. A logically centralized software program i.e. SDN controller will be responsible of all the intelligent work of control plane operations. It also allows the network to be more flexible and programable. Using this paradigm, the SDN introduces new routes of innovations and opportunities for network management and configuration methods. In this paper an SDN based network management architecture is presented for future avionics communication network based on FCI. This paper also presents a comparison of network management process in traditional and SDN based architecture with the underlying configuration and management protocols i.e. SNMP, OF-Config, NetConf, RestConf and Yang model. The issues in the state-of-the-art network management such as configurations and scalability issues are highlighted with alternative solutions in SDN based architecture. The SDN based network management functions are applied to future avionics communications network architecture. Some example scenarios have also been demonstrated for network management functions such as configuration/reconfiguration of infrastructure layers devices using SDN controller with a global view of network.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication40th Digital Avionics Systems Conference, DASC 2021 - Proceedings
PublisherThe Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
ISBN (Electronic)9781665434201
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event40th IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference, DASC 2021 - San Antonio, United States
Duration: 3 Oct 20217 Oct 2021

Publication series

NameAIAA/IEEE Digital Avionics Systems Conference - Proceedings
ISSN (Print)2155-7195
ISSN (Electronic)2155-7209


Conference40th IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference, DASC 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio


  • NetConf
  • Network Management
  • OpenFlow
  • SDN
  • Yang model

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