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The paper presents an injection-based approach to analyze dependability of high-speed networks using the Myrinet as an example testbed. Instead of injecting faults related to network protocols, the authors injected faults into the host interface component, which performs the actual send and receive operations. The fault model used was a temporary single bit flip in an instruction executing on the host interface's custom processor, corresponding to a transient fault in the processor itself. Results show that more than 25% of the injected faults resulted in interface failures. Furthermore, they observed fault propagation from an interface to its host computer or to another interface to which it sent a message. These findings suggest that two important issues for high-speed networking in critical applications are protecting the host computer from errant or malicious interface components and implementing thorough message acceptance test mechanisms to prevent errant messages from propagating faults between interfaces.
Date of Conference: 24-27 June 1997