NSDI '05 Abstract
Designing Extensible IP Router Software
Mark Handley, University College, London, and International Computer Science Institute; Eddie Kohler, University of California, Los Angeles, and International Computer Science Institute; Atanu Ghosh, Orion Hodson, and Pavlin Radoslavov, International Computer Science Institute
Many problems with today's Internet routing infrastructure--slow
BGP convergence times exacerbated by timer-based route scanners, the
difficulty of evaluating new protocols--are not architectural or protocol
problems, but software problems. Router software designers have
tackled scaling challenges above all, treating extensibility and latency
concerns as secondary. At this point in the Internet's
evolution, however, further scaling and security issues require tackling
latency and extensibility head-on.
We present the design and implementation of XORP, an IP routing software
stack with strong emphases on latency, scaling, and extensibility. XORP is
event-driven, and aims to respond to routing changes with minimal
delay--an increasingly crucial requirement, given rising expectations for
Internet reliability and convergence time. The XORP design
consists of a composable framework of routing processes, each in turn
composed of modular processing stages through which routes flow.
Extensibility and latency concerns have influenced XORP throughout, from
IPC mechanisms to process arrangements to intra-process software structure,
and leading to novel designs.
In this paper we discuss XORP's design and implementation, and
evaluate the resulting software against our performance and extensibility
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