The recent wide expansion of applicable three-dimensional (3D) printing and software-defined networking (SDN) technologies has led to a great deal of attention being focused on efficient remote control of manufacturing processes. SDN is a renowned paradigm for network softwarization, which has helped facilitate remote manufacturing in association with high network performance, since SDN is designed to control network paths and traffic flows, guaranteeing improved quality of services by obtaining network requests from end-applications on demand through the separated SDN controller or control plane. However, current SDN approaches are generally focused on the controls and automation of the networks, which indicates that there is a lack of management plane development designed for a reliable and fault-tolerant SDN environment. Therefore, in addition to the inherent advantage of SDN, this paper proposes a new software-defined network operations center (SD-NOC) architecture to strengthen the reliability and fault-tolerance of SDN in terms of network operations and management in particular. The cooperation and orchestration between SDN and SD-NOC are also introduced for the SDN failover processes based on four principal SDN breakdown scenarios derived from the failures of the controller, SDN nodes, and connected links. The abovementioned SDN troubles significantly reduce the network reachability to remote devices (e.g., 3D printers, super high-definition cameras, etc.) and the reliability of relevant control processes. Our performance consideration and analysis results show that the proposed scheme can shrink operations and management overheads of SDN, which leads to the enhancement of responsiveness and reliability of SDN for remote 3D printing and control processes.
3D Printing; SDN; Network Operations; Fault-Tolerant; Relibility