A Control Plane for Intra-Domain Routing
Models and algorithms for internal routing in an ISP's network.
Internal routing inside an ISP network is the foundation for lots of services that generate revenue from the ISP's customers. A fine-grained control of paths taken by network traffic once it enters the ISP's network is therefore a crucial means to achieve a top-quality offer and, equally important, to enforce SLAs. Many widespread network technologies and approaches (most notably, MPLS) offer limited (e.g., with RSVP-TE), tricky (e.g., with OSPF metrics), or no control on internal routing paths. On the other hand, recent advances in the research community are a good starting point to address this shortcoming, but miss elements that would enable their applicability in an ISP's network.
Within this research area, we aim at introducing a new control plane for internal routing that has the following qualities: it is designed to operate on the internal routing of an ISP; it enables fine-grained management of network paths with suitable configuration primitives; it is scalable because routing changes are only propagated to the network portion that is affected by the changes; it supports independent configuration of specific network portions without the need to know the configuration of the whole network; it is robust thanks to the adoption of multipath routing; it supports the enforcement of QoS levels; it is independent of the specific data plane used in the ISP's network; it can be incrementally deployed and nicely coexist with other control planes.
As part of our research on this topic, we are currently working on designing a control plane for intra-domain routing that satisfies the above described requirements. This control plane, which is based on a routing paradigm known as pathlet routing, is described in our publications on this topic.
As part of this experimental activity, we have also implemented a topology generator that produces an output that can be used with our control plane implementation. The topology generator is also available for download (and usage instructions are included as well):Download topology generator (last update: 02 Mar 2013)