MW 1-2:30, Room 310 Soda
Prof. Randy H. Katz, Instructor
are known to
be fragile, easily broken, and exhibit poor reliability. From a network
perspective, reliability is affected by two key factors. In the
routes occasionally fail and the network can take too long to find an
alternative, thus partitioning distributed components. In the
local-area and in enterprise networks, unplanned
for traffic surges (e.g., worm outbreaks, p2p file sharing, flash
crowds) can starve applications for network bandwidth while
simultaneously rendering the network difficult to manage in order to
respond to the surge.
In this seminar, we will examine new network-layer approaches for improving the dependability of distributed systems. A key emergent technology of interest is programmable network elements (PNEs), providing protocol-aware packet and stream classification at line speeds, invocation of specific packet and flow-level actions, and policy-based forwarding. Packet contents can be modified, delayed, filtered or redirected, based on preferences, context, or policies specified by network administrators. For example, a strategically place PNE could detect traffic surges and shape traffic to reserve bandwidth for control messages when the network is under stress.
In addition, PNEs provide pervasive monitoring at the network layer, as a possible foundation for a network "flight data recorder." This could enable analysis and replay of network failures after the fact. Given the ability to observe and act, PNEs can coordinate with algorithms at a higher level to drive predictions of emerging attacks or impeding failures. Successful coordination of observe-analyze-act across the network could dramatically enhance the reliability and dependability of distributed systems.
The course will be organized around reading and discussing key papers in the field, drawn from the literature of network virtualization, routing and health monitoring, and active networks and middlebox functionality. These readings will be augmented with invited presentations by leading experts in the field. Students will propose a significant research project and see it through to completion and presentation by the end of the semester. PNEs are available for student evaluation and prototyping in support of their projects.