dDrops: Detecting silent packet drops on programmable data plane


Silent packet drops are common in data center networks, and are a major cause of network performance anomalies (NPAs) that have significant impacts on application performance and network management. However, existing solutions using coarse-grained statistics and flow-level telemetry either fail to provide precise location of packet drops or incur large overhead. This paper presents dDrops, a packet-level telemetry based on programmable data plane to detect and retrieve details of silent packet drops immediately when they happen. dDrops can dynamically adapt to varying ratios of silent packet drops for different ports on a switch to improve performance of silent packet drops detection. Moreover, a dynamic memory management scheme is also designed to efficiently use the limited memory on the data plane of switch. dDrops has been implemented on both P4 hardware programmable switches (based on Intel Tofino ASIC) and BMv2. Extensive experiment results show that dDrops is able to detect and locate the silent packet drops within 5 ms (including detailed information of dropped packets), and reduce the memory consumption by up to 50%.

Computer Networks