MTS: Bringing Multi-Tenancy to Virtual Networking


Kashyap Thimmaraju and Saad Hermak, Technische Universität Berlin; Gabor Retvari, BME HSNLab; Stefan Schmid, Faculty of Computer Science, University of Vienna


Multi-tenant cloud computing provides great benefits in terms of resource sharing, elastic pricing, and scalability, however, it also changes the security landscape and introduces the need for strong isolation between the tenants, also inside the network. This paper is motivated by the observation that while multi-tenancy is widely used in cloud computing, the virtual switch designs currently used for network virtualization lack sufficient support for tenant isolation. Hence, we present, implement, and evaluate a virtual switch architecture, MTS, which brings secure design best-practice to the context of multi-tenant virtual networking: compartmentalization of virtual switches, least-privilege execution, complete mediation of all network communication, and reducing the trusted computing base shared between tenants. We build MTS from commodity components, providing an incrementally deployable and inexpensive upgrade path to cloud operators. Our extensive experiments, extending to both micro-benchmarks and cloud applications, show that, depending on the way it is deployed, MTS may produce 1.5-2x the throughput compared to state-of-the-art, with similar or better latency and modest resource overhead (1 extra CPU). MTS is available as open source software.

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@inproceedings {234982,
author = {Kashyap Thimmaraju and Saad Hermak and Gabor Retvari and Stefan Schmid},
title = {{MTS}: Bringing {Multi-Tenancy} to Virtual Networking},
booktitle = {2019 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX ATC 19)},
year = {2019},
isbn = {978-1-939133-03-8},
address = {Renton, WA},
pages = {521--536},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul

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