Improving the Performance of Route Control Middleboxes in a Competitive Environment



Multihomed subscribers are increasingly adopting Intelligent Route Control (IRC) solutions to optimize the cost and end-to-end performance of the traffic routed among the different links connecting their networks to the Internet. Until recently, IRC practices were not considered adverse, but new studies show that in a competitive environment, they can lead to persistent traffic oscillations, causing significant performance degradation rather than improvements. To cope with this, randomized IRC techniques have been proposed. However, the proliferation of IRC products is giving rise to concern, given that randomization becomes less effective as the number of interfering IRC systems increases. In this article, we present a more scalable route control strategy that can better support the foreseeable spread of IRC solutions. We show that by blending randomization with adaptive filtering techniques, it is possible to drastically reduce the interference between competing route controllers, and this can be achieved without penalizing the end-to-end traffic performance. Besides the potential improvements in terms of scalability and performance, the route control strategy outlined here has various practical advantages. For instance, it does not require any kind of protocol or coordination between the competing IRC middleboxes, and it can be readily adopted today, since the only requirement is a software upgrade of the available route controllers.


Intelligent Route Control, Smart Route Control, Traffic Engineering, Inter-domain Routing


Intelligent Route Control

Related Project

IST FP6 CONTENT Network-of-Excellence


IEEE Network Magazine, Special Issue on Implications and Control of Middleboxes in the Internet, Vol. 22, #5, pp. 56-64, September 2008

PDF File

Cited by

No citations found