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Eleventh International Network Conference (INC 2016)
Title: VirtualStack: Adaptive Multipath Support through Protocol Stack Virtualization
Author(s): Jens Heuschkel, Alexander Frömmgen, Jon Crowcroft, Max Mühlhäuser
Keywords: protocol virtualization, application decoupling, network virtualization, software-defined-networking, multipath networking
Abstract: More and more network devices, such as servers
or smartphones, have multiple network interfaces. Today’s com-
monly used communication protocols do not leverage these
interfaces to increase bandwidth and reliability using multiple
network paths. Recent approaches, such as Multipath TCP
(MPTCP), clearly show these advantages. However, adaptation
of MPTCP is slow as it requires a modified kernel and faces
compatibility issues inside the network. MPTCP is also inflexible
in the sense that all paths must use TCP. The challenge is to
support multipathing on any operating system, with any legacy
application using any transport layer protocol.
In this paper, we present VirtualStack. VirtualStack manages
multiple network stacks per application and decides on the best
stack on a per-packet basis. This allows to support multipath
using any combination of interfaces and protocols for every
application. We evaluate the multipath support by comparing
VirtualStack against MPTCP using a combination of TCP and
UDP connections. Additionally, we show how rules provide
flexible programmings abstractions for VirtualStack.
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