Use of locator/identifier separation to improve the future internet routing system
Chair / Department / Institute
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Departament d'Arquitectura de Computadors
Document typeDoctoral thesis
PublisherUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Rights accessOpen Access
The Internet evolved from its early days of being a small research network to become a critical infrastructure many organizations and individuals rely on. One dimension of this evolution is the continuous growth of the number of participants in the network, far beyond what the initial designers had in mind. While it does work today, it is widely believed that the current design of the global routing system cannot scale to accommodate future challenges. In 2006 an Internet Architecture Board (IAB) workshop was held to develop a shared understanding of the Internet routing system scalability issues faced by the large backbone operators. The participants documented in RFC 4984 their belief that "routing scalability is the most important problem facing the Internet today and must be solved." A potential solution to the routing scalability problem is ending the semantic overloading of Internet addresses, by separating node location from identity. Several proposals exist to apply this idea to current Internet addressing, among which the Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol (LISP) is the only one already being shipped in production routers. Separating locators from identifiers results in another level of indirection, and introduces a new problem: how to determine location, when the identity is known. The first part of our work analyzes existing proposals for systems that map identifiers to locators and proposes an alternative system, within the LISP ecosystem. We created a large-scale Internet topology simulator and used it to compare the performance of three mapping systems: LISP-DHT, LISP+ALT and the proposed LISP-TREE. We analyzed and contrasted their architectural properties as well. The monitoring projects that supplied Internet routing table growth data over a large timespan inspired us to create LISPmon, a monitoring platform aimed at collecting, storing and presenting data gathered from the LISP pilot network, early in the deployment of the LISP protocol. The project web site and collected data is publicly available and will assist researchers in studying the evolution of the LISP mapping system. We also document how the newly introduced LISP network elements fit into the current Internet, advantages and disadvantages of different deployment options, and how the proposed transition mechanism scenarios could affect the evolution of the global routing system. This work is currently available as an active Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Internet Draft. The second part looks at the problem of efficient one-to-many communications, assuming a routing system that implements the above mentioned locator/identifier split paradigm. We propose a network layer protocol for efficient live streaming. It is incrementally deployable, with changes required only in the same border routers that should be upgraded to support locator/identifier separation. Our proof-of-concept Linux kernel implementation shows the feasibility of the protocol, and our comparison to popular peer-to-peer live streaming systems indicates important savings in inter-domain traffic. We believe LISP has considerable potential of getting adopted, and an important aspect of this work is how it might contribute towards a better mapping system design, by showing the weaknesses of current favorites and proposing alternatives. The presented results are an important step forward in addressing the routing scalability problem described in RFC 4984, and improving the delivery of live streaming video over the Internet.