Distributed Network Monitoring and Debugging with SwitchPointer

Praveen Tammana, Rachit Agarwal, Myungjin Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Monitoring and debugging large-scale networks remains a challenging problem. Existing solutions operate at one of the two extremes — systems running at end-hosts (more resources but less visibility into the network) or at network switches (more visibility, but limited resources). We present SwitchPointer, a network monitoring and debugging system that integrates the best of the two worlds. SwitchPointer exploits end-host resources and programmability to collect and monitor telemetry data. The key contribution of SwitchPointer is to efficiently provide network visibility by using switch memory as a “directory service” — each switch, rather than storing the data necessary for monitoring functionalities, stores pointers to end-hosts where relevant telemetry data is stored. We demonstrate, via experiments over real-world testbeds, that SwitchPointer can efficiently monitor and debug network problems, many of which were either hard or even infeasible with existing designs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation
PublisherUSENIX Association
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-931971-43-0
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2018
Event15th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation - Renton, United States
Duration: 9 Apr 201811 Apr 2018


Conference15th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation
Abbreviated titleNSDI'18
CountryUnited States
Internet address

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