Thursday, April 3, 2003
Anypoint is an extensible router architecture that performs transport switching for building scalable Internet services. Transport switching enables reliable, ordered, rate-controlled communication to the ensemble through a redirecting switch. Service routing plugins extend switches at the network edge and can inspect, transform, and redirect transport-layer flows. Anypoint is designed for emerging transports with application-level framing; it is the first routing approach to switch at the granularity of transport frames. Anypoint maintains transport guarantees between end nodes, avoiding protocol termination in the switch. Experiments comparing Anypoint to an application-layer proxy quantify CPU and memory performance benefits. A scalable NFS storage appliance illustrates the structure and design of Anypoint services.
In the second part of the talk I show how network intermediaries form the basis for large-scale network emulation. Network systems are difficult to evaluate due to their scale and the complexity of the Internet. ModelNet presents a network emulation environment, built above a scalable gigabit LAN cluster, for deploying unmodified software prototypes (and operating systems) in a configurable Internet-like environment. ModelNet emulates the network on a hop-by-hop basis, and accurately captures the effects of congestion, queuing, and cross traffic. In this context, the emulator is a cluster of intermediaries that coordinate to impose wait times on packets. This part of the talk will focus on maintaining emulation accuracy, and techniques for scaling emulation across a set of emulation nodes.
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