Wouter de Vries

I am a systems engineer at Cloudflare. I obtained my PhD in the area of computer networks, specifically in the optimization of anycast catchments, at the University of Twente. My interests include DNS, Anycast, Networking in general and data analysis.

Paper: Global-Scale Anycast Network Management with Verfploeter

01 Apr 2020

The paper “Global-Scale Anycast Network Management with Verfploeter” will appear in the 17th IEEE/IFIP Network Operations and Management Symposium, NOMS 2020, Budapest, Hungary.

You can download the entire paper here.

From the abstract:

Anycast has become a valuable tool for network operators. It plays a vital role in making the DNS root system globally highly available and resilient to stresses from e.g. DDoS attacks. Content delivery networks use it to direct clients to local caches, and to absorb attack traffic. Yet managing an anycast network is far from simple. Earlier work studying a DDoS attack on the DNS root system, for example, shows that even highly distributed anycast networks can be overwhelmed.To manage an anycast service, it is vital to know the catchment of points of presence (PoPs) of the service. In earlier work, we introduced "Verfploeter" a novel active measurement method to determine anycast catchments using ICMP messages. Unlike previously existing approaches, Verfploeter is unbiased, accurate and can be executed directly by the anycast operator without the need for external vantage points. We demonstrated the efficacy of Verfploeter on a testbed and small anycast service.In this paper, we take the next step and deploy Verfploeter on one of the world's largest anycast networks, the Cloudflare CDN with 192 PoPs worldwide. We perform real-world case studies on network planning (what happens when PoPs are switched on or off), troubleshooting (reachability issues of an anycasted prefix) and security (detecting spoofed attack traffic). These case studies show that Verfploeter is highly suitable for such a large-scale operation and gives operators vital insights that allow them to improve network management practices of their anycast service.

This paper was joint work by Wouter B. de Vries (University of Twente), Salman Aljammaz (Cloudflare) and Roland van Rijswijk-Deij (University of Twente and NLnet Labs).