Two challenges of Software Networking: Name-based Forwarding and Table Verification

Abstract : The Internet changed the lives of network users: not only it affects users' habits, but it is also increasingly being shaped by network users' behavior. Several new services have been introduced during the past decades (i.e. file sharing, video streaming, cloud computing) to meet users' expectation. As a consequence, although the Internet infrastructure provides a good best-effort service to exchange information in a point-to-point fashion, this is not the principal need that todays users request. Current networks necessitate some major architectural changes in order to follow the upcoming requirements, but the experience of the past decades shows that bringing new features to the existing infrastructure may be slow. In this thesis work, we identify two main aspects of the Internet evolution: a “behavioral” aspect, which refers to a change occurred in the way users interact with the network, and a “structural” aspect, related to the evolution problem from an architectural point of view. The behavioral perspective states that there is a mismatch between the usage of the network and the actual functions it provides. While network devices implement the simple primitives of sending and receiving generic packets, users are really interested in different primitives, such as retrieving or consuming content. The structural perspective suggests that the problem of the slow evolution of the Internet infrastructure lies in its architectural design, that has been shown to be hardly upgradeable. On the one hand, to encounter the new network usage, the research community proposed the Named-data networking paradigm (NDN), which brings the content-based functionalities to network devices. On the other hand Software-defined networking (SDN) can be adopted to simplify the architectural evolution and shorten the upgrade-time thanks to its centralized software control plane, at the cost of a higher network complexity that can easily introduce some bugs. SDN verification is a novel research direction aiming to check the consistency and safety of network configurations by providing formal or empirical validation. The talk consists of two parts. In the first part, we focus on the behavioral aspect by presenting the design and evaluation of “Caesar”, a content router that advances the state-of-the-art by implementing content-based functionalities which may coexist with real network environments. In the second part, we target network misconfiguration diagnosis, and we present a framework for the analysis of the network topology and forwarding tables, which can be used to detect the presence of a loop at real-time and in real network environments.
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Leonardo Linguaglossa. Two challenges of Software Networking: Name-based Forwarding and Table Verification. Networking and Internet Architecture [cs.NI]. Université Paris Diderot (Paris 7) Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2016. English. ⟨tel-01386788⟩

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