Simplifying Datacenter Network Debugging with PathDump

Authors: 

Praveen Tammana, University of Edinburgh; Rachit Agarwal, Cornell University; Myungjin Lee, University of Edinburgh

Abstract: 

Datacenter networks continue to grow complex due to larger scales, higher speeds and higher link utilization. Existing tools to manage and debug these networks are even more complex, requiring in-network techniques like collecting per-packet per-switch logs, dynamic switch rule updates, periodically collecting data plane snapshots, packet mirroring, packet sampling, traffic replay, etc.

This paper calls for a radically different approach to network management and debugging: in contrast to implementing the functionality entirely in-network, we should carefully partition the debugging tasks between the edge devices and the network elements. We present the design, implementation and evaluation of PathDump, a minimalistic tool that utilizes resources at edge devices for network debugging. PathDump currently runs over a real network comprising only of commodity hardware, and yet, can support a surprisingly large class of network debugging problems. Evaluation results show that Path- Dump requires minimal switch and edge resources, while enabling network debugging at fine-grained time scales.

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BibTeX
@inproceedings {199356,
author = {Praveen Tammana and Rachit Agarwal and Myungjin Lee},
title = {Simplifying Datacenter Network Debugging with PathDump},
booktitle = {12th {USENIX} Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation ({OSDI} 16)},
year = {2016},
isbn = {978-1-931971-33-1},
address = {Savannah, GA},
pages = {233--248},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/osdi16/technical-sessions/presentation/tammana},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
}