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X-Trace: A Pervasive Network Tracing Framework
Modern Internet systems often combine different applications (e.g., DNS, web, and database), span different administrative domains, and function in the context of network mechanisms like tunnels, VPNs, NATs, and overlays. Diagnosing these complex systems is a daunting challenge. Although many diagnostic tools exist, they are typically designed for a specific layer (e.g., traceroute) or application, and there is currently no tool for reconstructing a comprehensive view of service behavior. In this paper we propose X-Trace, a tracing framework that provides such a comprehensive view for systems that adopt it. We have implemented X-Trace in several protocols and software systems, and we discuss how it works in three deployed scenarios: DNS resolution, a three-tiered photo-hosting website, and a service accessed through an overlay network.
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