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Automated Controller Placement for Software-Defined Networks to Resist DDoS Attacks

Muhammad Reazul Haque1, Saw Chin Tan1, Zulfadzli Yusoff2,*, Kashif Nisar3,5,6, Lee Ching Kwang2,7, Rizaludin Kaspin4, Bhawani Shankar Chowdhry5, Rajkumar Buyya8, Satya Prasad Majumder9, Manoj Gupta10, Shuaib Memon11

1 Faculty of Computing & Informatics, Multimedia University, Persiaran Multimedia, Cyberjaya, 63100, Selangor, Malaysia
2 Faculty of Engineering, Multimedia University, Persiaran Multimedia, Cyberjaya, 63100, Selangor, Malaysia
3 Faculty of Computing and Informatics, University Malaysia Sabah, Jalan UMS, Kota Kinabalu Sabah, 88400, Malaysia
4 Telekom Malaysia Research & Development, TM Innovation Centre, Cyberjaya, 63000, Selangor, Malaysia
5 National Center of Robotics and Automation, Mehran University of Engineering & Technology, Jamshoro, Pakistan
6 Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Hanyang University, Seoul, 04763, Korea
7 School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 639798, Singapore
8 Cloud Computing and Distributed Systems Laboratory, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3053, Australia
9 Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, 1205, Bangladesh
10 Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, JECRC University, Vidhani, Jaipur, 303905, India
11 Auckland Institute of Studies, Mt Albert, Auckland, New Zealand

* Corresponding Author: Zulfadzli Yusoff. Email:

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Advanced 5G Communication System for Transforming Health Care)

Computers, Materials & Continua 2021, 68(3), 3147-3165.


In software-defined networks (SDNs), controller placement is a critical factor in the design and planning for the future Internet of Things (IoT), telecommunication, and satellite communication systems. Existing research has concentrated largely on factors such as reliability, latency, controller capacity, propagation delay, and energy consumption. However, SDNs are vulnerable to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that interfere with legitimate use of the network. The ever-increasing frequency of DDoS attacks has made it necessary to consider them in network design, especially in critical applications such as military, health care, and financial services networks requiring high availability. We propose a mathematical model for planning the deployment of SDN smart backup controllers (SBCs) to preserve service in the presence of DDoS attacks. Given a number of input parameters, our model has two distinct capabilities. First, it determines the optimal number of primary controllers to place at specific locations or nodes under normal operating conditions. Second, it recommends an optimal number of smart backup controllers for use with different levels of DDoS attacks. The goal of the model is to improve resistance to DDoS attacks while optimizing the overall cost based on the parameters. Our simulated results demonstrate that the model is useful in planning for SDN reliability in the presence of DDoS attacks while managing the overall cost.


Cite This Article

M. Reazul Haque, S. Chin Tan, Z. Yusoff, K. Nisar, L. Ching Kwang et al., "Automated controller placement for software-defined networks to resist ddos attacks," Computers, Materials & Continua, vol. 68, no.3, pp. 3147–3165, 2021.


cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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