LIFEGUARD: practical repair of persistent route failures

  • Authors:
  • Ethan Katz-Bassett;Colin Scott;David R. Choffnes;Ítalo Cunha;Vytautas Valancius;Nick Feamster;Harsha V. Madhyastha;Thomas Anderson;Arvind Krishnamurthy

  • Affiliations:
  • University of Washington & University of Southern California, Seattle, WA, USA;University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA;University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA;Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil;Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA, USA;Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA, USA;University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA, USA;University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA;University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

  • Venue:
  • Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2012 conference on Applications, technologies, architectures, and protocols for computer communication
  • Year:
  • 2012

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The Internet was designed to always find a route if there is a policy-compliant path. However, in many cases, connectivity is disrupted despite the existence of an underlying valid path. The research community has focused on short-term outages that occur during route convergence. There has been less progress on addressing avoidable long-lasting outages. Our measurements show that long-lasting events contribute significantly to overall unavailability. To address these problems, we develop LIFEGUARD, a system for automatic failure localization and remediation. LIFEGUARD uses active measurements and a historical path atlas to locate faults, even in the presence of asymmetric paths and failures. Given the ability to locate faults, we argue that the Internet protocols should allow edge ISPs to steer traffic to them around failures, without requiring the involvement of the network causing the failure. Although the Internet does not explicitly support this functionality today, we show how to approximate it using carefully crafted BGP messages. LIFEGUARD employs a set of techniques to reroute around failures with low impact on working routes. Deploying LIFEGUARD on the Internet, we find that it can effectively route traffic around an AS without causing widespread disruption.