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Classification of load balancing in the Internet

Christophe Diot
Darryl Veitch
Italo Cunha
rafael almeida
renata cruz teixeira
Proceedings of IEEE INFOCOM, IEEE, Beijing, China (2020)
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Abstract

Abstract—Recent advances in programmable data planes, software-defined networking, and the adoption of IPv6, support novel, more complex load balancing strategies. We introduce the Multipath Classification Algorithm (MCA), a probing algorithm that extends traceroute to identify and classify load balancing in Internet routes. MCA extends existing formalism and techniques to consider that load balancers may use arbitrary combinations of bits in the packet header for load balancing. We propose optimizations to reduce probing cost that are applicable to MCA and existing load balancing measurement techniques. Through large-scale measurement campaigns, we characterize and study the evolution of load balancing on the IPv4 and IPv6 Internet with multiple transport protocols. Our results show that load balancing is more prevalent and that load balancing strategies are more mature than previous characterizations have found.