Decentralized cloud wide-area network traffic engineering with BLASTSHIELD


Umesh Krishnaswamy, Rachee Singh, Nikolaj Bjørner, and Himanshu Raj, Microsoft


Cloud networks are increasingly managed by centralized software defined controllers. Centralized traffic engineering controllers achieve higher network throughput than decentralized implementations, but are a single point of failure in the network. Large scale networks require controllers with isolated fault domains to contain the blast radius of faults. In this work, we present BLASTSHIELD, Microsoft’s software-defined decentralized WAN traffic engineering system. BLASTSHIELD slices the WAN into smaller fault domains, each managed by its own slice controller. Slice controllers independently engineer traffic in their slices to maximize global network throughput without relying on hierarchical or central coordination. BLASTSHIELD is fully deployed in Microsoft’s WAN and carries a majority of the backbone traffic. BLASTSHIELD achieves similar network throughput as the previous generation centralized controller and reduces traffic loss from controller failures by 60%.

NSDI '22 Open Access Sponsored by
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

Open Access Media

USENIX is committed to Open Access to the research presented at our events. Papers and proceedings are freely available to everyone once the event begins. Any video, audio, and/or slides that are posted after the event are also free and open to everyone. Support USENIX and our commitment to Open Access.

@inproceedings {278322,
author = {Umesh Krishnaswamy and Rachee Singh and Nikolaj Bj{\o}rner and Himanshu Raj},
title = {Decentralized cloud wide-area network traffic engineering with {BLASTSHIELD}},
booktitle = {19th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 22)},
year = {2022},
isbn = {978-1-939133-27-4},
address = {Renton, WA},
pages = {325--338},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = apr

Presentation Video