Towards An Application Objective-Aware Network Interface


Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi, UC Irvine, VMware Research; Sayed Hadi Hashemi and Roy Campbell, UIUC; Brighten Godfrey, UIUC, VMware


The network representation used for conveying an application's objective in cloud environments, which we refer to as the Application Network Interface (ANI), has steadily evolved --- from packet to flow and flowlet, and more complex abstractions such as coflow. In this paper, we argue that state-of-the-art ANIs still fail to capture important application needs. Using distributed deep learning as a representative application, we show that application performance achievable using current ANIs are up to 25% lower than optimal. We analyze these ANIs to understand the missing pieces and put forward CadentFlow, an ANI with per-flow metrics and an optimization objective, to capture application requirements effectively. We discuss the opportunity for real-world implementation of a more expressive ANI and its implications on the design of network controllers and scheduling algorithms.

Open Access Media

USENIX is committed to Open Access to the research presented at our events. Papers and proceedings are freely available to everyone once the event begins. Any video, audio, and/or slides that are posted after the event are also free and open to everyone. Support USENIX and our commitment to Open Access.

@inproceedings {254146,
author = {Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi and Sayed Hadi Hashemi and Roy Campbell and Brighten Godfrey},
title = {Towards An Application Objective-Aware Network Interface},
booktitle = {12th {USENIX} Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing (HotCloud 20)},
year = {2020},
url = {},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = jul,

Presentation Video