Design and Development of Network Monitoring Strategies in P4-enabled Programmable Switches

Ding, Damu (2021) Design and Development of Network Monitoring Strategies in P4-enabled Programmable Switches, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Ingegneria elettronica, telecomunicazioni e tecnologie dell'informazione, 33 Ciclo.
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Network monitoring is of paramount importance for effective network management: it allows to constantly observe the network’s behavior to ensure it is working as intended and can trigger both automated and manual remediation procedures in case of failures and anomalies. The concept of SDN decouples the control logic from legacy network infrastructure to perform centralized control on multiple switches in the network, and in this context, the responsibility of switches is only to forward packets according to the flow control instructions provided by controller. However, as current SDN switches only expose simple per-port and per-flow counters, the controller has to do almost all the processing to determine the network state, which causes significant communication overhead and excessive latency for monitoring purposes. The absence of programmability in the data plane of SDN prompted the advent of programmable switches, which allow developers to customize the data-plane pipeline and implement novel programs operating directly in the switches. This means that we can offload certain monitoring tasks to programmable data planes, to perform fine-grained monitoring even at very high packet processing speeds. Given the central importance of network monitoring exploiting programmable data planes, the goal of this thesis is to enable a wide range of monitoring tasks in programmable switches, with a specific focus on the ones equipped with programmable ASICs. Indeed, most network monitoring solutions available in literature do not take computational and memory constraints of programmable switches into due account, preventing, de facto, their successful implementation in commodity switches. This claims that network monitoring tasks can be executed in programmable switches. Our evaluations show that the contributions in this thesis could be used by network administrators as well as network security engineers, to better understand the network status depending on different monitoring metrics, and thus prevent network infrastructure and service outages.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Ding, Damu
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Software-Defined Networks, Network monitoring, P4-enabled programmable data planes
Data di discussione
18 Maggio 2021

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