Blueswitch:enabling provably consistent configuration of network switches

Han, J. H. and Mundkur, P. and Rotsos, C. and Antichi, G. and Dave, N. and Moore, A. W. and Neumann, P. G. (2015) Blueswitch:enabling provably consistent configuration of network switches. In: Architectures for Networking and Communications Systems (ANCS), 2015 ACM/IEEE Symposium on. IEEE, pp. 17-27. ISBN 9781467366335

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Abstract

Previous research on consistent updates for distributed network configurations has focused on solutions for centralized networkconfiguration controllers. However, such work does not address the complexity of modern switch datapaths. Modern commodity switches expose opaque configuration mechanisms, with minimal guarantees for datapath consistency and with unclear configuration semantics. Furthermore, would-be solutions for distributed consistent updates must take into account the configuration guarantees provided by each individual switch - plus the compositional problems of distributed control and multi-switch configurations that considerably transcend the single-switch problems. In this paper, we focus on the behavior of individual switches, and demonstrate that even simple rule updates result in inconsistent packet switching in multi-table datapaths. We demonstrate that consistent configuration updates require guarantees of strong switch-level atomicity from both hardware and software layers of switches - even in a single switch. In short, the multiple-switch problems cannot be reasonably approached until single-switch consistency can be resolved. We present a hardware design that supports a transactional configuration mechanism, and provides packet-consistent configuration: all packets traversing the datapath will encounter either the old configuration or the new one, and never an inconsistent mix of the two. Unlike previous work, our design does not require modifications to network packets. We precisely specify the hardwaresoftware protocol for switch configuration; this enables us to prove the correctness of the design, and to provide well-specified invariants that the software driver must maintain for correctness. We implement our prototype switch design using the NetFPGA-10G hardware platform, and evaluate our prototype against commercial off-the-shelf switches.

Item Type: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings
Additional Information: ©2015 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > School of Computing & Communications
ID Code: 82438
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 26 Oct 2016 09:26
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2020 05:14
URI: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/82438

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