VeriFlow: Verifying network-wide invariants in real time

Ahmed Khurshid, Xuan Zou, Wenxuan Zhou, Matthew Caesar, P. Brighten Godfrey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Networks are complex and prone to bugs. Existing tools that check network configuration files and the data-plane state operate offline at timescales of seconds to hours, and cannot detect or prevent bugs as they arise. Is it possible to check network-wide invariants in real time, as the network state evolves? The key challenge here is to achieve extremely low latency during the checks so that network performance is not affected. In this paper, we present a design, VeriFlow, which achieves this goal. VeriFlow is a layer between a software-defined networking controller and network devices that checks for network-wide invariant violations dynamically as each forwarding rule is inserted, modified or deleted. VeriFlow supports analysis over multiple header fields, and an API for checking custom invariants. Based on a prototype implementation integrated with the NOX OpenFlow controller, and driven by a Mininet OpenFlow network and Route Views trace data, we find that VeriFlow can perform rigorous checking within hundreds of microseconds per rule insertion or deletion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2013
PublisherUSENIX Association
Pages15-27
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781931971003
StatePublished - 2013
Event10th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2013 - Lombard, United States
Duration: Apr 2 2013Apr 5 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 10th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2013

Conference

Conference10th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2013
CountryUnited States
CityLombard
Period4/2/134/5/13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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