Flexible failure detection and fast reroute using eBPF and SRv6

Mathieu Xhonneux, Olivier Bonaventure

Segment Routing is a modern variant of source routing that is being gradually deployed by network operators. Large ISPs use it for traffic engineering and fast reroute purposes. Its IPv6 dataplane, named SRv6, goes beyond the initial MPLS dataplane, notably by enabling network programmability. With SRv6, it becomes possible to define transparent network functions on routers and endhosts. These functions are mapped to IPv6 addresses and their execution is scheduled by segments placed in the forwarded packets. We have recently extended the Linux SRv6 implementation to enable the execution of specific eBPF code upon reception of an SRv6 packet containing local segments. eBPF is a virtual machine that is included in the Linux kernel. We leverage this new feature of Linux 4.18 to propose and implement flexible eBPF-based fast-reroute and failure detection schemes. Our lab measurements confirm that they provide good performance and enable faster failure detections than existing BFD implementations on Linux routers and servers.

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