Stanford Networking Seminar

12:15PM, Thursday April 8, 2010
Gates 104

Scalable Enterprise Networks with Inexpensive Switches

Minlan Yu
Princeton University

About the talk:
Enterprise networks are growing larger and ever more difficult to manage. Several emerging techniques help improve network management: flat addressing to support host mobility, shortest-path routing to improve performance, and flow-based switches to enable fine-grain policies. However, these techniques introduce scalability challenges in enterprises with many hosts, switches, and flow rules, forcing the use of expensive switches with large, power-hungry memory for processing data packets. In our work, we improve the scalability of enterprise networks through a combination of new data structures that make effective use of limited memory and traffic indirection that minimizes state required at each switch. We first present BUFFALO, which uses Bloom filters to reduce memory usage in switch forwarding tables. Then, we present DIFANE, a distributed architecture for managing the flow rules that enforce fine-grain policies for access control, routing, and traffic measurement. Both BUFFALO and DIFANE can be easily implemented with small modifications in today's switches, as demonstrated by our prototypes built using the Click modular router.

About the speaker:
Minlan Yu is a 4th year Ph.D. student working with Jennifer Rexford in the computer science department at Princeton University. She received her B.A. in computer science and mathematics from Peking University in 2006 and her M.A. in computer science from Princeton University in 2008. Her research interest is in network virtualization, enterprise and data center networks.