Protego: Cloud-Scale Multitenant IPsec Gateway


Jeongseok Son, KAIST and Microsoft Research; Yongqiang Xiong, Microsoft Research; Kun Tan, Huawei; Paul Wang and Ze Gan, Microsoft Research; Sue Moon, KAIST


Virtual cloud network services let users have their own private networks in the public cloud. IPsec gateways are growing in importance accordingly as they provide VPN connections for customers to remotely access these private networks. Major cloud providers offer IPsec gateway functions to tenants using virtual machines (VMs) running a software IPsec gateway inside. However, dedicating individual IPsec gateway VMs to each tenant results in significant resource waste due to the strong isolation mechanism of VMs.

In this paper, we design Protego, a distributed IPsec gateway service designed for multitenancy. By separating the control plane and the data plane of an IPsec gateway, Protego achieves high availability with active redundancy. Furthermore, Protego elastically scales in and out by seamlessly migrating IPsec tunnels between the data nodes without compromising their throughput. Our evaluation and simulation based on production data show that Protego together with a simple resource provisioning algorithm saves more than 80% of the resources compared with allocating independent VMs.

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@inproceedings {203241,
author = {Jeongseok Son and Yongqiang Xiong and Kun Tan and Paul Wang and Ze Gan and Sue Moon},
title = {Protego: {Cloud-Scale} Multitenant {IPsec} Gateway},
booktitle = {2017 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX ATC 17)},
year = {2017},
isbn = {978-1-931971-38-6},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
pages = {473--485},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul

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