VRR: Virtual Ring Routing
A new unique routing protocol

Version 1.1 now available here.


Virtual Ring Routing (VRR) is a new network routing protocol that occupies a unique point in the design space. VRR is a clean-slate design inspired by overlay routing algorithms in Distributed Hash Tables (DHTs). Unlike DHTs, VRR is implemented directly on top of the link layer and does not rely on an underlying network routing protocol. VRR provides both traditional point-to-point network routing and DHT routing to the node closest to a key.


We have an implementation of VRR for Windows XP that is used to provide both traditional routing and DHT functionality for 802.11-based multi-hop wireless networks. We have been successfully using it on a 110-machine 802.11a testbed at MSR Cambridge spanning two floors of our office building. The VRR protocol is described in detail in the paper "Virtual Ring Routing: Network routing inspired by DHTs".

We have also been developing a set of user-level libraries that provide simple access to the DHT and related functionality. Using the DHT we have implemented DNS and DHCP network services, and also ARP - providing an efficient "zero conf" service for the wireless network.

Download the VRR Windows XP implementation:
Released under the MSR Shared Source Licence Agreement (MSR-SSLA)

Release 1.5 contains both the source and binaries for Windows XP SP2 for the following: 

  • VRR Driver (enabling unmodified applications to be run over a multi-hop 802.11 wireless ad-hoc network).
  • C# user-level libraries that provide easy access to the DHT and related functionality
  • Zero configuration network application (ARP, DNS and DHCP) that leverages the DHT functionality of VRR.
  • A simulator to allow rapid development of applications

The current release is version 1.1 and can be downloaded here.

We can not provide support for the distribution, however, we will do our best to answer questions: vrr@microsoft.com.

Papers related to VRR:

M. Caesar, M. Castro, E. Nightingale, G. O'Shea and A. Rowstron, "Virtual Ring Routing: Network routing inspired by DHTs", Sigcomm 2006, Pisa, Italy, September 2006. [ ps | pdf ]

M. Castro, G. O'Shea and A. Rowstron, "Zero Servers With Zero Broadcasts", MobiShare 2006, LA, USA, September 2006. [ pdf ]


Page last updated 23rd August 2007 (ant) - vrr@microsoft.com