Efficient IP-Address Lookup With a Shared Forwarding Table for Multiple Virtual Routers

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Executive Summary

Virtual routers are a promising way to provide network services such as customer-specific routing, policy-based routing, multi-topology routing, and network virtulization. However, the need to support a separate Forwarding Information Base (FIB) for each virtual router leads to memory scaling challenges. In this paper, the authors present a small, shared data structure and a fast lookup algorithm that capitalize on the commonality of IP prefixes between each FIB. Experiments with real packet traces and routing tables show that the approach achieves much lower memory requirements and considerably faster lookup times.

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