Pluginizing QUIC

Tue, 05/26/2020 - 11:45 by Quentin De Coninck


Application requirements evolve over time and the underlying protocols need to adapt. Most transport protocols evolve by negotiating protocol extensions during the handshake. Experience with TCP shows that this leads to delays of several years or more to widely deploy standardized extensions. In this paper, we revisit the extensibility paradigm of transport protocols.

We base our work on QUIC, a new transport protocol that encrypts most of the header and all the payload of packets, which makes it almost immune to middlebox interference. We propose Pluginized QUIC (PQUIC), a framework that enables QUIC clients and servers to dynamically exchange protocol plugins that extend the protocol on a per-connection basis. These plugins can be transparently reviewed by external verifiers and hosts can refuse non-certified plugins. Furthermore, the protocol plugins run inside an environment that monitors their execution and stops malicious plugins. We demonstrate the modularity of our proposal by implementing and evaluating very different plugins ranging from connection monitoring to multipath or Forward Erasure Correction. Our results show that plugins achieve expected behavior with acceptable overhead. We also show that these plugins can be combined to add their functionalities to a PQUIC connection.

Quentin De Coninck, François Michel, Maxime Piraux, Florentin Rochet, Thomas Given-Wilson, Axel Legay, Olivier Pereira and Olivier Bonaventure
SIGCOMM '19: Proceedings of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication, pages 59-74, August 2019.
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