Category Archives: 2018

Towards a Rigorous Methodology for Measuring Adoption of RPKI Route Validation and Filtering

Andreas Reuter, Randy Bush, Italo Cunha, Ethan Katz-Bassett, Thomas C. Schmidt, Matthias Wählisch


A proposal to improve routing security—Route Origin Authorization (ROA)—has been standardized. A ROA specifies which network is allowed to announce a set of Internet destinations. While some networks now specify ROAs, little is known about whether other networks check routes they receive against these ROAs, a process known as Route Origin Validation (ROV). Which networks blindly accept invalid routes? Which reject them outright? Which de-preference them if alternatives exist?

Recent analysis attempts to use uncontrolled experiments to characterize ROV adoption by comparing valid routes and invalid routes. However, we argue that gaining a solid understanding of ROV adoption is impossible using currently available data sets and techniques. Instead, we devise a verifiable methodology of controlled experiments for measuring ROV. Our measurements suggest that, although some ISPs are not observed using invalid routes in uncontrolled experiments, they are actually using different routes for (non-security) traffic engineering purposes, without performing ROV. We conclude with presenting three AS that do implement ROV as confirmed by the operators.

Download the full article DOI:10.1145/3211852.3211856

Open Connect Everywhere: A Glimpse at the Internet Ecosystem through the Lens of the Netflix CDN

Timm Böttger, Felix Cuadrado, Gareth Tyson, Ignacio Castro, Steve Uhlig


The importance of IXPs to interconnect different networks and exchange traffic locally has been well studied over the last few years. However, far less is known about the role IXPs play as a platform to enable large-scale content delivery and to reach a world-wide customer base. In this paper, we study the infrastructure deployment of a content hypergiant, Netflix, and show that the combined worldwide IXP substrate is the major corner stone of its Content Delivery Network. This highlights the additional role that IXPs play in the Internet ecosystem, not just in terms of interconnection, but also allowing players such as Netflix to deliver significant amounts of traffic.

Download the full article DOI:10.1145/3211852.3211857

Local Fast Failover Routing With Low Stretch

Klaus-Tycho Foerster, Yvonne-Anne Pignolet, Stefan Schmid, Gilles Tredan


Network failures are frequent and disruptive, and can significantly reduce the throughput even in highly connected and regular networks such as datacenters. While many modern networks support some kind of local fast failover to quickly reroute flows encountering link failures to new paths, employing such mechanisms is known to be non-trivial, as conditional failover rules can only depend on local failure information.

While over the last years, important insights have been gained on how to design failover schemes providing high resiliency, existing approaches have the shortcoming that the resulting failover routes may be unnecessarily long, i.e., they have a large stretch compared to the original route length. This is a serious drawback, as long routes entail higher latencies and introduce loads, which may cause the rerouted flows to interfere with existing flows and harm throughput.

This paper presents the first deterministic local fast failover algorithms providing provable resiliency and failover route lengths, even in the presence of many concurrent failures. We present stretch-optimal failover algorithms for different network topologies, including multi-dimensional grids, hypercubes and Clos networks, as they are frequently deployed in the context of HPC clusters and datacenters. We show that the computed failover routes are optimal in the sense that no failover algorithm can provide shorter paths for a given number of link failures.

Download the full article DOI:10.1145/3211852.3211858

Charting the Algorithmic Complexity of Waypoint Routing

Saeed Akhoondian Amiri, Klaus-Tycho Foerster, Riko Jacob, Stefan Schmid


Modern computer networks support interesting new routing models in which traffic flows from a source sto a destination t can be flexibly steered through a sequence of waypoints, such as (hardware) middleboxes or (virtualized) network functions (VNFs), to create innovative network services like service chains or segment routing. While the benefits and technological challenges of providing such routing models have been articulated and studied intensively over the last years, less is known about the underlying algorithmic traffic routing problems.

The goal of this paper is to provide the network community with an overview of algorithmic techniques for waypoint routing and also inform about limitations due to computational hardness. In particular, we put the waypoint routing problem into perspective with respect to classic graph theoretical problems. For example, we find that while computing a shortest path from a source s to a destination t is simple (e.g., using Dijkstra’s algorithm), the problem of finding a shortest route from s to t via a single waypoint already features a deep combinatorial structure.

Download the full article DOI: 10.1145/3211852.3211859

A Scalable VPN Gateway for Multi-Tenant Cloud Services

Mina Tahmasbi Arashloo, Pavel Shirshov, Rohan Gandhi, Guohan Lu, Lihua Yuan, Jennifer Rexford


Major cloud providers offer networks of virtual machines with private IP addresses as a service on the cloud. To isolate the address space of different customers, customers are required to tunnel their traffic to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) gateway, which is typically a middlebox inside the cloud that internally tunnels each packet to the correct destination. To improve performance, an increasing number of enterprises connect directly to the cloud provider’s network at the edge, to a device we call the provider’s edge (PE). PE is a chokepoint for customer’s traffic to the cloud, and therefore a natural candidate for implementing network functions concerning customers’ virtual networks, including the VPN gateway, to avoid a detour to middleboxes inside the cloud.

At the scale of today’s cloud providers, VPN gateways need to maintain information for around a million internal tunnels. We argue that no single commodity device can handle these many tunnels while providing a high enough port density to connect to hundreds of cloud customers at the edge. Thus, in this paper, we propose a hybrid architecture for the PE, consisting of a commodity switch, connected to a commodity server which uses Data-Plane Development Kit (DPDK) for fast packet processing. This architecture enables a variety of network functions at the edge by offering the benefits of both hardware and software data planes. We implement a scalable VPN gateway on our proposed PE and show that it matches the scale requirements of today’s cloud providers while processing packets close to line rate.

Download the full article DOI: 10.1145/3211852.3211860

ex uno pluria: The Service-Infrastructure Cycle, Ossification, and the Fragmentation of the Internet

Mostafa Ammar


In this article I will first argue that a Service-Infrastructure Cycle is fundamental to networking evolution. Networks are built to accommodate certain services at an expected scale. New applications and/or a significant increase in scale require a rethinking of network mechanisms which results in new deployments. Four decades-worth of iterations of this process have yielded the Internet as we know it today, a common and shared global networking infrastructure that delivers almost all services. I will further argue, using brief historical case studies, that success of network mechanism deployments often hinges on whether or not mechanism evolution follows the iterations of this Cycle. Many have observed that this network, the Internet, has become ossified and unable to change in response to new demands. In other words, after decades of operation, the Service-Infrastructure Cycle has become stuck. However, novel service requirements and scale increases continue to exert significant pressure on this ossified infrastructure. The result, I will conjecture, will be a fragmentation, the beginnings of which are evident today, that will ultimately fundamentally change the character of the network infrastructure. By ushering in a ManyNets world, this fragmentation will lubricate the Service-Infrastructure Cycle so that it can continue to govern the evolution of networking. I conclude this article with a brief discussion of the possible implications of this emerging ManyNets world on networking research.

Download the full article DOI: 10.1145/3211852.3211861

A Survey among Network Operators on BGP Prefix Hijacking

Pavlos Sermpezis, Vasileios Kotronis, Alberto Dainotti, Xenofontas Dimitropoulos


BGP prefix hijacking is a threat to Internet operators and users. Several mechanisms or modifications to BGP that protect the Internet against it have been proposed. However, the reality is that most operators have not deployed them and are reluctant to do so in the near future. Instead, they rely on basic – and often inefficient – proactive defenses to reduce the impact of hijacking events, or on detection based on third party services and reactive approaches that might take up to several hours. In this work, we present the results of a survey we conducted among 75 network operators to study: (a) the operators’ awareness of BGP prefix hijacking attacks, (b) presently used defenses (if any) against BGP prefix hijacking, (c) the willingness to adopt new defense mechanisms, and (d) reasons that may hinder the deployment of BGP prefix hijacking defenses. We expect the findings of this survey to increase the understanding of existing BGP hijacking defenses and the needs of network operators, as well as contribute towards designing new defense mechanisms that satisfy the requirements of the operators.

Download the full article DOI: 10.1145/3211852.3211862

Thoughts and Recommendations from the ACM SIGCOMM 2017 Reproducibility Workshop

Damien Saucez, Luigi Iannone


Ensuring the reproducibility of results is an essential part of experimental sciences, including computer networking. Unfortunately, as highlighted recently, a large portion of research results are hardly, if not at all, reproducible, raising reasonable lack of conviction on the research carried out around the world.

Recent years have shown an increasing awareness about reproducibility of results as an essential part of research carried out by members of the ACM SIGCOMM community. To address this important issue, ACM has introduced a new policy on results and artifacts review and badging. The policy defines the terminology to be used to assess results and artifacts but does not specify the review process or how to make research reproducible.

During SIGCOMM’17 a side workshop has been organized with the specific purpose to tackle this issue. The objective being to trigger discussion and activity in order to craft recommendations on how to introduce incentives for authors to share their artifacts, and the details on how to use them, as well as defining the process to be used.

This editorial overviews the workshop activity and summarizes the main discussions and outcomes.

Download the full article DOI: 10.1145/3211852.3211863

A Survey on Artifacts from CoNEXT, ICN, IMC, and SIGCOMM Conferences in 2017

Matthias Flittner, Mohamed Naoufal Mahfoudi, Damien Saucez, Matthias Wählisch, Luigi Iannone, Vaibhav Bajpai, Alex Afanasyev


Reproducibility of artifacts is a cornerstone of most scientific publications. To improve the current state and strengthen ongoing community efforts towards reproducibility by design, we conducted a survey among the papers published at leading ACM computer networking conferences in 2017: CoNEXT, ICN, IMC, and SIGCOMM.

The objective of this paper is to assess the current state of artifact availability and reproducibility based on a survey. We hope that it will serve as a starting point for further discussions to encourage researchers to ease the reproduction of scientific work published within the SIGCOMM community. Furthermore, we hope this work will inspire program chairs of future conferences to emphasize reproducibility within the ACM SIGCOMM community as well as will strengthen awareness of researchers.

Download the full article DOI: 10.1145/3211852.3211864