ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review

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ISSN : 0146-4833
Total articles ≅ 2,764
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Abhishek Kumar Mishra, Sara Ayoubi, Giulio Grassi, Renata Teixeira
ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, Volume 51, pp 2-8; https://doi.org/10.1145/3477482.3477484

Abstract:
This paper presents NemFi: a trace-driven WiFi emulator. NemFi is a record-and-replay emulator that captures traces representing real WiFi conditions, and later replay these traces to reproduce the same conditions. In this paper, we demonstrate that the state-of-the-art emulator that was developed for cellular links cannot emulate WiFi conditions. We identify the three key differences that must be addressed to enable accurate WiFi record-and-replay: WiFi packet losses, medium-access control, and frame aggregation. We then extend the existing cellular network emulator to support WiFi record-and-replay. We evaluate the performance of NemFi via repeated experimentation across different WiFi conditions and for three different types of applications: speed-test, file download, and video streaming. Our experimental results demonstrate that average application performance over NemFi and real WiFi links is similar (with less than 3 percent difference).
Michael Welzl, Stephan Oepen, Cezary Jaskula, Carsten Griwodz, Safiqul Islam
ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, Volume 51, pp 29-32; https://doi.org/10.1145/3477482.3477488

Abstract:
RFC 9000, published in May 2021, marks an important milestone for the Internet's standardization body, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF): finally, the specification of the QUIC protocol is available. QUIC is the result of a five-year effort - and it is also the second of two major protocols (the first being SPDY, which later became HTTP/2) that Google LLC first deployed, and then brought to the IETF for standardization. This begs the question: when big players follow such a "shoot first, discuss later" approach, is IETF collaboration still "real", or is the IETF now being (mis-)used to approve protocols for standardization when they are already practically established, without really actively involving anyone but the main proponents?
José Suárez-Varela, Miquel Ferriol-Galmés, Albert López, Paul Almasan, Guillermo Bernárdez, David Pujol-Perich, Krzysztof Rusek, Loïck Bonniot, Christoph Neumann, François Schnitzler, et al.
ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, Volume 51, pp 9-16; https://doi.org/10.1145/3477482.3477485

Abstract:
During the last decade, Machine Learning (ML) has increasingly become a hot topic in the field of Computer Networks and is expected to be gradually adopted for a plethora of control, monitoring and management tasks in real-world deployments. This poses the need to count on new generations of students, researchers and practitioners with a solid background in ML applied to networks. During 2020, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has organized the "ITU AI/ML in 5G challenge", an open global competition that has introduced to a broad audience some of the current main challenges in ML for networks. This large-scale initiative has gathered 23 different challenges proposed by network operators, equipment manufacturers and academia, and has attracted a total of 1300+ participants from 60+ countries. This paper narrates our experience organizing one of the proposed challenges: the "Graph Neural Networking Challenge 2020". We describe the problem presented to participants, the tools and resources provided, some organization aspects and participation statistics, an outline of the top-3 awarded solutions, and a summary with some lessons learned during all this journey. As a result, this challenge leaves a curated set of educational resources openly available to anyone interested in the topic.
Kc Claffy, David Clark, John Heidemann, Fabian Bustamante, Mattijs Jonker, Aaron Schulman, Ellen Zegura
ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, Volume 51, pp 33-40; https://doi.org/10.1145/3477482.3477489

Abstract:
In January and April 2021 we held the Workshop on Overcoming Measurement Barriers to Internet Research (WOMBIR) with the goal of understanding challenges in network and security data set collection and sharing. Most workshop attendees provided white papers describing their perspectives, and many participated in short-talks and discussion in two virtual workshops over five days. That discussion produced consensus around several points. First, many aspects of the Internet are characterized by decreasing visibility of important network properties, which is in tension with the Internet's role as critical infrastructure. We discussed three specific research areas that illustrate this tension: security, Internet access; and mobile networking. We discussed visibility challenges at all layers of the networking stack, and the challenge of gathering data and validating inferences. Important data sets require longitudinal (long-term, ongoing) data collection and sharing, support for which is more challenging for Internet research than other fields. We discussed why a combination of technical and policy methods are necessary to safeguard privacy when using or sharing measurement data. Workshop participant proposed several opportunities to accelerate progress, some of which require coordination across government, industry, and academia.
Brian E. Carpenter
ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, Volume 51, pp 41-45; https://doi.org/10.1145/3477482.3477490

Abstract:
An earlier study observed that until 2008, the size of the BGP4 system for IPv4 appeared to have grown approximately in proportion to the square root of the host count of the globally addressable Internet. This article revisits this study by including IPv4 data until 2020 and adding IPv6 data. The results indicate that BGP4 for IPv4 is continuing to scale steadily even as IPv4 approaches its end of life, and that it is working as it should for IPv6, except for a slight concern that the number of announced routes is trending upwards faster as time goes on.
Steve Uhlig
ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, Volume 51, pp 1-1; https://doi.org/10.1145/3477482.3477483

Abstract:
Presentation of the July 2021 issue of CCR.
Brian Carpenter, Jon Crowcroft, Dirk Trossen
ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, Volume 51, pp 22-28; https://doi.org/10.1145/3477482.3477487

Abstract:
Limited domains were defined conceptually in RFC 8799 to cater to requirements and behaviours that extend the dominant view of IP packet delivery in the Internet. This paper argues not only that limited domains have been with us from the very beginning of the Internet but also that they have been shaping innovation of Internet technologies ever since, and will continue to do so. In order to build limited domains that successfully interoperate with the existing Internet, we propose an architectural framework as a blueprint. We discuss the role of the IETF in ensuring continued innovation in Internet technologies by embracing the wider research community's work on limited domain technology, leading to our key insight that Limited Domains are not only considered useful but a must to sustain innovation.
Sándor Laki, Radostin Stoyanov, Dávid Kis, Robert Soulé, Péter Vörös, Noa Zilberman
ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, Volume 51, pp 17-21; https://doi.org/10.1145/3477482.3477486

Abstract:
High level, network programming languages, like P4, enable students to gain hands-on experience in the structure of a switch or router. Students can implement the packet processing pipeline themselves, without prior knowledge of circuit design. However, when choosing a P4 programmable target for use in the classroom, instructors face a lack of options. On the one hand, software solutions, such as the behavioral model (BMv2) switch, are overly simplified and offer low performance. On the other hand, existing hardware solutions are closed source and expensive. In this paper, we present P4Pi, a new, low-cost, open-source hardware platform intended for networking education. P4Pi allows students to design and deploy P4-based network devices using the Raspberry Pi board, which has a price tag of less than many academic textbooks. We describe the high-level design of the P4Pi platform, offer some suggestions for how P4Pi could be used in the classroom, and present some additional use-cases for applications and functionality that could be developed using P4Pi.
Joseph Severini, Radhika Niranjan Mysore, Vyas Sekar, Sujata Banerjee, Michael K. Reiter
ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, Volume 51, pp 10-17; https://doi.org/10.1145/3464994.3464997

Abstract:
We study operational issues faced by Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) network owners and find that SME network management practices have stagnated over the past decade, despite many recent advances in network management. Many of these advances target hyperscalers and ISPs and cannot be directly applied to SME networks that are operated with vastly different constraints. In our work, we outline these constraints and explain how they impact challenges around debugging, namely: representing, reproducing, and remediating network problems. This article takes a fresh look at these challenges in the light of SME practices around collaborative debugging and presents a roadmap aimed to help resolve SME operational issues quickly.
Rachee Singh, Muqeet Mukhtar, Ashay Krishna, Aniruddha Parkhi, Jitendra Padhye, David Maltz
ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, Volume 51, pp 2-9; https://doi.org/10.1145/3464994.3464996

Abstract:
Switch failures can hamper access to client services, cause link congestion and blackhole network traffic. In this study, we examine the nature of switch failures in the datacenters of a large commercial cloud provider through the lens of survival theory. We study a cohort of over 180,000 switches with a variety of hardware and software configurations and find that datacenter switches have a 98% likelihood of functioning uninterrupted for over 3 months since deployment in production. However, there is significant heterogeneity in switch survival rates with respect to their hardware and software: the switches of one vendor are twice as likely to fail compared to the others. We attribute the majority of switch failures to hardware impairments and unplanned power losses. We find that the in-house switch operating system, SONiC, boosts the survival likelihood of switches in datacenters by 1% by eliminating switch failures caused by software bugs in vendor switch OSes.
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