Lightweight network support for scalable end-to-end services

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Some end-to-end network services benefit greatly from network support in terms of utility and scalability. However, when such support is provided through service-specific mechanisms, the proliferation of one-off solutions tend to decrease the robustness of the network over time. Programmable routers, on the other hand, offer generic support for a variety of end-to-end services, but face a different set of challenges with respect to performance, scalability, security, and robustness. Ideally, router-based support for end-to-end services should exhibit the kind of generality, simplicity, scalability, and performance that made the Internet Protocol (IP) so successful. In this paper we present a router-based building block called ephemeral state processing (ESP), which is designed to have IP-like characteristics. ESP allows packets to create and manipulate small amounts of temporary state at routers via short, predefined computations. We discuss the issues involved in the design of such a service and describe three broad classes of problems for which ESP enables robust solutions. We also present performance measurements from a network-processor-based implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2002 Conference - Applications, Technologies, Architectures, and Protocols for Computer Communications
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Oct 2002
EventACM SIGCOMM 2002 Conference - Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Duration: Aug 19 2002Aug 23 2002

Publication series

NameComputer Communication Review
ISSN (Print)0146-4833
ISSN (Electronic)0146-4833


ConferenceACM SIGCOMM 2002 Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPittsburgh, PA


  • End-to-end services
  • Ephemeral state
  • Programmable network
  • Router achitecture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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