Giang T. K. Nguyen, Rachit Agarwal, Junda Liu, Matthew Caesar, P. Brighten Godfrey, Scott Shenker

Source-controlled routing has been proposed as a way to improve flexibility of future network architectures, as well as simplifying the data plane. However, if a packet specifies its path, this precludes fast local re-routing within the network. We propose SlickPackets, a novel solution that allows packets to slip around failures by specifying alternate paths in their headers, in the form of compactly-encoded directed acyclic graphs. We show that this can be accomplished with reasonably small packet headers for real network topologies, and results in responsiveness to failures that is competitive with past approaches that require much more state within the network. Our approach thus enables fast failure response while preserving the benefits of source-controlled routing.

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