R2P2: Making RPCs first-class datacenter citizens


Marios Kogias, George Prekas, Adrien Ghosn, Jonas Fietz, and Edouard Bugnion, EPFL


Remote Procedure Calls are widely used to connect datacenter applications with strict tail-latency service level objectives in the scale of μs. Existing solutions utilize streaming or datagram-based transport protocols for RPCs that impose overheads and limit the design flexibility. Our work exposes the RPC abstraction to the endpoints and the network, making RPCs first-class datacenter citizens and allowing for in-network RPC scheduling. We propose R2P2, a UDP-based transport protocol specifically designed for RPCs inside a datacenter. R2P2 exposes pairs of requests and responses and allows efficient and scalable RPC routing by separating the RPC target selection from request and reply streaming. Leveraging R2P2, we implement a novel join-bounded-shortest-queue (JBSQ) RPC load balancing policy, which lowers tail latency by centralizing pending RPCs in the router and ensures that requests are only routed to servers with a bounded number of outstanding requests. The R2P2 router logic can be implemented either in a software middlebox or within a P4 switch ASIC pipeline. Our evaluation, using a range of microbenchmarks, shows that the protocol is suitable for μs-scale RPCs and that its tail latency outperforms both random selection and classic HTTP reverse proxies. The P4-based implementation of R2P2 on a Tofino ASIC adds less than 1μs of latency whereas the software middlebox implementation adds 5μs latency and requires only two CPU cores to route RPCs at 10 Gbps line-rate. R2P2 improves the tail latency of web index searching on a cluster of 16 workers operating at 50% of capacity by 5.7× over NGINX. R2P2 improves the throughput of the Redis key-value store on a 4-node cluster with master/slave replication for a tail-latency service-level objective of 200μs by more than 4.8× vs. vanilla Redis.

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@inproceedings {234930,
author = {Marios Kogias and George Prekas and Adrien Ghosn and Jonas Fietz and Edouard Bugnion},
title = {{R2P2}: Making {RPCs} first-class datacenter citizens},
booktitle = {2019 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX ATC 19)},
year = {2019},
isbn = {978-1-939133-03-8},
address = {Renton, WA},
pages = {863--880},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/atc19/presentation/kogias-r2p2},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul

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