SCMon: Leveraging Segment Routing to Improve Network Monitoring

Tue, 01/26/2016 - 03:49 by Stefano Vissicchio


To guarantee correct operation of their networks, operators have to promptly detect and diagnose data-plane issues, like broken interface cards or link failures. Networks are becoming more complex, with a growing number of Equal Cost MultiPath (ECMP) and link bundles. Hence, some data-plane problems (e.g. silent packet dropping at one router) can hardly be detected with control-plane protocols or simple monitoring tools like ping or traceroute.
In this paper, we propose a new technique, called SCMon, that enables continuous monitoring of the data-plane, in order to track the health of all routers and links. SCMon leverages the recently proposed Segment Routing (SR) architecture to monitor the entire network with a single box (and no additional monitoring protocol). In particular, SCMon uses SR to (i) force monitoring probes to travel over cycles; and (ii) test parallel links and bundles at a per-link granularity. We present original algorithms to compute cycles that cover all network links with a limited number of SR segments. Further, we prototype and evaluate SCMon both with simulations and Linux-based emulations. Our experiments show that SCMon quickly detects and precisely pinpoints data-plane problems, with a limited overhead.

Francois Aubry, David Lebrun, Stefano Vissicchio, Minh Thanh Khong, Yves Deville and Olivier Bonaventure
INFOCOM, 2016.
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