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NSDI '05 — Abstract

Trickles: A Stateless Network Stack for Improved Scalability, Resilience, and Flexibility

Alan Shieh, Andrew C. Myers, and Emin Gün Sirer, Cornell University


Traditional operating system interfaces and network protocol implementations force system state to be kept on both sides of a connection. Such state ties the connection to an endpoint, impedes transparent failover, permits denial-of-service attacks, and limits scalability. This paper introduces a novel TCP-like transport protocol and a new interface to replace sockets that together enable all state to be kept on one endpoint, allowing the other endpoint, typically the server, to operate without any per-connection state. Called Trickles, this approach enables servers to scale well with increasing numbers of clients, consume fewer resources, and better resist denial-of-service attacks. Measurements on a full implementation in Linux indicate that Trickles achieves performance comparable to TCP/IP, interacts well with other flows, and scales well. Trickles also enables qualitatively different kinds of networked services. Services can be geographically replicated and contacted through an anycast primitive for improved availability and performance. Widely-deployed practices that currently have client-observable side effects, such as periodic server reboots, connection redirection, and failover, can be made transparent, and perform well, under Trickles. The protocol is secure against tampering and replay attacks, and the client interface is backwards-compatible, requiring no changes to sockets-based client applications.
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Last changed: 9 June 2005 rc
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