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Routing as a Service. Karthik Lakshminarayanan (with Ion Stoica and Scott Shenker) Sahara/ i3 retreat, January 2004. Problem. Applications demand greater flexibility in route selection Resilience: RON, Tapestry Performance: Detour Applications need different routing functionality

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Routing as a service l.jpg

Routing as a Service

Karthik Lakshminarayanan

(with Ion Stoica and Scott Shenker)

Sahara/i3 retreat, January 2004

Problem l.jpg

  • Applications demand greater flexibility in route selection

    • Resilience: RON, Tapestry

    • Performance: Detour

  • Applications need different routing functionality

    • Multicast: ESM, Overcast

    • DDoS defense: SOS, Mayday

    • Anycast: Gia

  • Difficult to change any routing-level component in the Internet today!

Current approach l.jpg
Current approach

  • Overlay networks

    • Layer above IP

    • Deployability

  • Problems:

    • Ossification: overlay solutions again ossify routing in the protocol; hard to modify once deployed on large scale (lessons from the Internet)

    • Efficiency: replicate packets multiple times along a physical link; inefficient route construction

    • Lack of control for ISPs: traffic hard for ISPs to control; circumvent ISPs’ policies

Routing in transportation network l.jpg

Multiple route providers

Routing in transportation network

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Time taken


Our thesis l.jpg
Our thesis

Push routing out of infrastructure

  • Argument for “edge-controlled” routing

    • Related: NIRA (NewArch group, MIT/ISI)

  • Our contribution:

    • Fine-grained control over routing

    • Control plane for achieving this

System architecture l.jpg
System architecture

  • Forwarding infrastructure

    • Provides basic routing (referred to as default routing)

    • Exports primitives for inserting routes

System architecture10 l.jpg

Network information




policy-based routing

(span multiple ISPs)

System architecture

2. NEWS/Route selector

  • Aggregates network information

  • Selects routes on behalf of applications

System architecture11 l.jpg

Client A

Network information

Query/reply routing info.


Setup routes


Client D

Client B

Client C

System architecture

3. End-hosts

  • Queries NEWS to setup paths

Architectural position l.jpg
Architectural position



Separate control plane and data plane by using clean abstractions

Data plane

Internet &

Infrastructure overlays

Control plane

P2P &

End-host overlays

Data plane

Control plane

Our proposal

Control plane

Data plane

Challenges l.jpg

  • Open, multi-provider system (design of primitives)

    • Unlike intra-domain, e.g. GSMP

    • Security: control provided should not be used for attacking the system

    • Trust: between entities of the system, e.g. what information does system give to NEWS

  • Large-scale system (route selection)

    • Scalability: monitoring; service to end-hosts

    • Stability: should not lead to oscillations

  • Deployability: ISP control

Infrastructure primitives l.jpg
Infrastructure primitives

  • Label-switching-like primitive

    • Allows insertion of forwarding entries (id1, id2), where id1, id2 are labels

    • id = [ NodeID : LocalID ]

  • Establishing paths – Loose virtual path (LVP)

    • Composition of label switches: T = (id1, id2, …, idn) is composed as (id1, id2), …, (idn-1, idn)

    • Construct different topologies

    • Aggregation can be performed at the level of tunnels that end at infrastructure nodes

1 trust l.jpg

Network infrastructure


1. Trust

  • Infrastructure provides network information to NEWS

  • Verification: NEWS should be able to verify this

    • Indirect measurement techniques using primitive alone

    • Metrics: Delay, loss, bandwidth

1 trust16 l.jpg

Network infrastructure


Client C

1. Trust

  • NEWS provides routes across the network

  • Verification: Network verifies correctness

2 scalability l.jpg
2. Scalability

  • Monitoring:

    • Monitor a subset of links

    • Update period depends on stability (exploit link stationarity)

      • For e.g., updates can be sent when metric on the link changes by a factor of x

  • Computation:

    • Incremental computation of best paths

    • Multiple paths are returned

  • Querying:

    • Default paths are used if special routing is not needed

    • Hierarchical dissemination

    • Caching of results: TTL chosen to reflect stability of paths

3 deployment l.jpg
3. Deployment

  • Infrastructure nodes

    • Hosted at certain points within ISPs

  • NEWS/Route selection

    • 3rd party provider like Akamai

    • Few in number

    • Determined by application requirements

  • Trust relations

    • NEWS trusts infrastructure for information (verifiable)

    • ISPs trust paths that NEWS returns (verifiable)

    • Export links that obey the underlying policy constraints

Implementation status l.jpg
Implementation status

  • i3 primitives for setting up forwarding state

  • Distributed NEWS implemented

    • Route computation based on delay, loss and bandwidth

    • Deployed on PlanetLab

  • i3 proxy has been modified to query NEWS

    • Legacy applications can be used with NEWS

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Summary of results

  • Verification of measurement techniques

    • Delay: 97% of cases have error < 10%

    • Loss-rate: 90% in over 80% of the cases

    • Bandwidth: Within a factor of 1.5 in 60% of cases

  • Scalability of monitoring

    • Simulation-based

    • Logarithmic-degree graph

    • Achieve 90% RDP of 2.3 (for delay) for TS-16384

Summary l.jpg

  • Routing control pushed outside the infrastructure

  • Routes computed by third-party entities (NEWS) along with measurement information provided by the infrastructure

  • Leads to “evolvable” networks

    • Deploy new routing schemes or optimize existing routing without changing the infrastructure