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Blink: Fast Connectivity Recovery Entirely in the Data Plane
T. Holterbach, E. Molero, M. Apostolaki, A. Dainotti, S. Vissicchio, and L. Vanbever, "Blink: Fast Connectivity Recovery Entirely in the Data Plane", in USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI), Feb 2019, pp. 161--176.
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Blink: Fast Connectivity Recovery Entirely in the Data Plane

Thomas Holterbach2
Edgar Costa Molero2
Maria Apostolaki2
Alberto Dainotti1
Stefano Vissicchio3
Laurent Vanbever2
1

CAIDA, San Diego Supercomputer Center, University of California San Diego

2

ETH Zürich

3

University College London

In this paper, we explore new possibilities, created by programmable switches, for fast rerouting upon signals triggered by Internet traffic disruptions. We present Blink, a data-driven system exploiting TCP-induced signals to detect failures. The key intuition behind Blink is that a TCP flow exhibits a predictable behavior upon disruption: retransmitting the same packet over and over, at epochs exponentially spaced in time. When compounded over multiple flows, this behavior creates a strong and characteristic failure signal. Blink efficiently analyzes TCP flows, at line rate, to: (i) select flows to track; (ii) reliably and quickly detect major traffic disruptions; and (iii) recover data-plane connectivity, via next-hops compatible with the operator’s policies.

We present an end-to-end implementation of Blink in P4 together with an extensive evaluation on real and synthetic traffic traces. Our results indicate that Blink: (i) can achieve sub-second rerouting for realistic Internet traffic; (ii) prevents unnecessary traffic shifts, in the presence of noise; and (iii) scales to protect large fractions of realistic Internet traffic, on existing hardware. We further show the feasibility of Blink by running our system on a real Tofino switch.

Keywords: internet outages, routing
  Last Modified: Wed Jul-17-2019 11:21:27 PDT
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