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Phillipa Gill

Phillipa Gill

Phillipa Gill is a research scientist at Google where she works on computer networking and network measurement. Prior to joining Google she was an associate professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Massachusetts -- Amherst. Her work focuses on many aspects of computer networking and security with a focus on designing novel network measurement techniques to improve the security and reliability of networks.
Authored Publications
Google Publications
Other Publications
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    CAPA: An Architecture For Operating Cluster Networks With High Availability
    Bingzhe Liu
    Mukarram Tariq
    Omid Alipourfard
    Rich Alimi
    Deepak Arulkannan
    Virginia Beauregard
    Patrick Conner
    Brighten Godfrey
    Xander Lin
    Mayur Patel
    Joon Ong
    Amr Sabaa
    Alex Smirnov
    Manish Verma
    Prerepa Viswanadham
    Google, Google, 1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View, CA 94043 (2023)
    Preview abstract Management operations are a major source of outages for networks. A number of best practices designed to reduce and mitigate such outages are well known, but their enforcement has been challenging, leaving the network vulnerable to inadvertent mistakes and gaps which repeatedly result in outages. We present our experiences with CAPA, Google’s “containment and prevention architecture” for regulating management operations on our cluster networking fleet. Our goal with CAPA is to limit the systems where strict adherence to best practices is required, so that availability of the network is not dependent on the good intentions of every engineer and operator. We enumerate the features of CAPA which we have found to be necessary to effectively enforce best practices within a thin “regulation“ layer. We evaluate CAPA based on case studies of outages prevented, counterfactual analysis of past incidents, and known limitations. Management-plane-related outages have substantially reduced both in frequency and severity, with a 82% reduction in cumulative duration of incidents normalized to fleet size over five years View details
    Improving Network Availability with Protective ReRoute
    Abdul Kabbani
    Van Jacobson
    Jim Winget
    Brad Morrey
    Uma Parthavi Moravapalle
    Steven Knight
    SIGCOMM 2023
    Preview abstract We present PRR (Protective ReRoute), a transport technique for shortening user-visible outages that complements routing repair. It can be added to any transport to provide benefits in multipath networks. PRR responds to flow connectivity failure signals, e.g., retransmission timeouts, by changing the FlowLabel on packets of the flow, which causes switches and hosts to choose a different network path that may avoid the outage. To enable it, we shifted our IPv6 network architecture to use the FlowLabel, so that hosts can change the paths of their flows without application involvement. PRR is deployed fleetwide at Google for TCP and Pony Express, where it has been protecting all production traffic for several years. It is also available to our Cloud customers. We find it highly effective for real outages. In a measurement study on our network backbones, adding PRR reduced the cumulative region-pair outage time for RPC traffic by 63--84%. This is the equivalent of adding 0.4--0.8 "nines'" of availability. View details
    The Prevalence of Domain Name Encryption and its Impact on Internet Filtering
    Michalis Polychronakis
    Phong Nguyen
    Passive and Active Measurement Conference (PAM), ACM (2022) (to appear)
    Preview abstract Most online communications rely on DNS to map domain names to their hosting IP address(es). Previous work has shown that DNS-based network interference is widespread due to the unencrypted and unauthenticated nature of the original DNS protocol. In addition to DNS, accessed domain names can also be monitored by on-path observers during the TLS handshake when the SNI extension is used. These lingering issues with exposed plaintext domain names have led to the development of a new generation of protocols that keep accessed domain names hidden. DNS-over-TLS (DoT) and DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) hide the domain names of DNS queries, while Encrypted Server Name Indication (ESNI) encrypts the domain name in the SNI extension. In this paper we present DNEye, a measurement system built on top of a network of distributed vantage points, which we used to study the accessibility of DoT/DoH and ESNI, and to investigate whether these protocols are tampered with by network providers (e.g., for censorship). Moreover, we evaluate the efficacy of these new protocols in circumventing network interference when accessing content that is blocked by traditional DNS manipulation. We find evidence of blocking efforts against domain name encryption technologies in several countries, including China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. At the same time, we discover that domain name encryption can help with unblocking more than 55\% and 95\% of censored domains in China and other countries where DNS-based filtering is heavily employed. View details
    M-Lab: User initiated Internet data for the research community
    Lai Yi Ohlsen
    Matt Mathis
    ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review (2022) (to appear)
    Preview abstract Measurement Lab (M-Lab) is an open, distributed server platform on which researchers can deploy measurement tools. Its mission is to measure the Internet, save the data and make it universally accessible and useful. This paper serves as an update on the M-Lab platform 10+ years after its initial introduction to the research community. This paper details the current state of the M-Lab distributed platform, highlights existing measurements/data available on the platform, and describes opportunities for further engagement between the networking research community and the platform. View details
    Preview abstract We (Google's networking teams) would like to increase our collaborations with academic researchers related to data-driven networking research. There are some significant constraints on our ability to directly share data, and in case not everyone in the community understands these, this document provides a brief summary. There are some models which can work (primarily, interns and visiting scientists). We describe some specific areas where we would welcome proposals to work within those models View details
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