Global-Scale Anycast Network Management with Verfploeter

Wouter B. de Vries, Salman Aljammaz, Roland Martijn van Rijswijk - Deij

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
279 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE/IFIP Network Operations and Management Symposium (NOMS 2020)
Subtitle of host publicationManagement in the Age of Softwarization and Artificial Intelligence, NOMS 2020
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-4973-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-7281-4974-5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020
Event17th IEEE/IFIP Network Operations and Management Symposium, NOMS 2020: Management in the Age of Softwarization and Artificial Intelligence - Virtual conference, Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 20 Apr 202024 Apr 2020
Conference number: 17 (Conference)

Publication series

NameIEEE/IFIP Network Operations and Management Symposium (NOMS)
ISSN (Print)1542-1201
ISSN (Electronic)2374-9709


Conference17th IEEE/IFIP Network Operations and Management Symposium, NOMS 2020
Abbreviated titleNOMS
Internet address


  • Anycast
  • Routing
  • Measurements
  • Active
  • Monitoring
  • BGP
  • Security
  • Troubleshooting
  • Network planning


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