Stroboscope: Declarative Network Monitoring on a Budget

Authors: Olivier Tilmans, Tobias Bühler, Ingmar Poese, Stefano Vissicchio, and Laurent Vanbever
Proceedings of the 15th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation


For an Internet Service Provider (ISP), getting an accurate picture of how its network behaves is challenging. Indeed, given the carried traffic volume and the impossibility to control end-hosts, ISPs often have no other choice but to rely on heavily sampled traffic statistics, which provide them with coarse-grained visibility at a less than ideal time resolution (seconds or minutes).

We present Stroboscope, a system that enables fine-grained monitoring of any traffic flow by instructing routers to mirror millisecond-long traffic slices in a programmatic way. Stroboscope takes as input high-level monitoring queries together with a budget and automatically determines: (i) which flows to mirror; (ii) where to place mirroring rules, using fast and provably correct algorithms; and (iii) when to schedule these rules to maximize coverage while meeting the input budget.

We implemented Stroboscope, and show that it scales well: it computes schedules for large networks and query sizes in few seconds, and produces a number of mirroring rules well within the limits of current routers. We also show that Stroboscope works on existing routers and is therefore immediately deployable.

Research Area: Network Analysis and Reasoning


Dr. Tobias Bühler
PhD student



	isbn = {978-1-931971-43-0},
	copyright = {In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted},
	year = {2018},
	booktitle = {Proceedings of the 15th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation},
	type = {Conference Paper},
	institution = {SBFI},
	author = {Tilmans, Olivier and Bühler, Tobias and Poese, Ingmar and Vissicchio, Stefano and Vanbever, Laurent},
	language = {en},
	address = {Berkeley, CA},
	publisher = {USENIX Association},
	DOI = {10.3929/ethz-b-000259851},
	title = {Stroboscope: Declarative Network Monitoring on a Budget},
	PAGES = {467 - 482},
	Note = {15th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 2018); Conference Location: Renton, WA, USA; Conference Date: April 9-11, 2018}

Research Collection: 20.500.11850/350009

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