Networking

On the Accurate Identification of Network Service Dependencies in Distributed Systems

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Executive Summary

The automated identification of network service dependencies remains a challenging problem in the administration of large distributed systems. Advances in developing solutions for this problem have immediate and tangible benefits to operators in the field. When the dependencies of the services in a network are better-understood, planning for and responding to system failures becomes more efficient, minimizing downtime and managing resources more effectively. This paper introduces three novel techniques to assist in the automatic identification of network service dependencies through passively monitoring and analyzing network traffic, including a logarithm-based ranking scheme aimed at more accurate detection of network service dependencies with lower false positives, an inference technique for identifying the dependencies involving infrequently used network services, and an approach for automated discovery of clusters of network services configured for load balancing or backup purposes.

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