Plinko: Building Provably Resilient Forwarding Tables
Cox, Alan L.; Rixner, Scott; Stephens, Brent
DateJuly 18, 2013
This paper introduces Plinko, a network architecture that uses a novel forwarding model and routing algorithm to build networks with forwarding paths that, assuming arbitrarily large forwarding tables, are provably resilient against t link failures, ∀t ∈ N. However, in practice, there are clearly limits on the size of forwarding tables. Nonetheless, when constrained to hardware comparable to modern topof-rack (TOR) switches, Plinko scales with high resilience to networks with up to ten thousand hosts. Thus, as long as t or fewer links have failed, the only reason packets of any flow in a Plinko network will be dropped are congestion, packet corruption, and a partitioning of the network topology, and, even after t + 1 failures, most, if not all, flows may be unaffected. In addition, Plinko is topology independent, supports arbitrary paths for routing, provably bounds stretch, and does not require any additional computation during forwarding. To the best of our knowledge, Plinko is the first network to have all of these properties.