Floodless in SEATTLE: A Scalable Ethernet Architecture for Large Enterprises

By: 
Changhoon Kim, Matthew Caesar, and Jennifer Rexford
Appears in: 
CCR October 2008

IP networks today require massive effort to configure and manage. Ethernet is vastly simpler to manage, but does not scale beyond small local area networks. This paper describes an alternative network architecture called SEATTLE that achieves the best of both worlds: The scalability of IP combined with the simplicity of Ethernet. SEATTLE provides plug-and-play functionality via flat addressing, while ensuring scalability and efficiency through shortest-path routing and hash-based resolution of host information. In contrast to previous work on identity-based routing, SEATTLE ensures path predictability and stability, and simplifies network management. We performed a simulation study driven by real-world traffic traces and network topologies, and used Emulab to evaluate a prototype of our design based on the Click and XORP open-source routing platforms. Our experiments show that SEATTLE efficiently handles network failures and host mobility, while reducing control overhead and state requirements by roughly two orders of magnitude compared with Ethernet bridging.