Securing RDMA for High-Performance Datacenter Storage Systems


Anna Kornfeld Simpson and Adriana Szekeres, University of Washington; Jacob Nelson and Irene Zhang, Microsoft Research


RDMA is increasingly popular for low-latency communication in datacenters, marking a major change in how we build distributed systems. Unfortunately, as we pursue significant system re-designs inspired by new technology, we have not given equal thought to the consequences for system security.This paper investigates security issues introduced to datacenter systems by switching to RDMA and challenges in building secure RDMA systems. These challenges include changes in RPC reliability guarantees and unauditable data-accesses. We show how RDMA’s design makes it challenging to build secure storage systems by analyzing recent research systems; then we outline several directions for solutions and future research, with the goal of securing RDMA datacenter systems while they are still in the research and prototype stages.

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@inproceedings {254108,
author = {Anna Kornfeld Simpson and Adriana Szekeres and Jacob Nelson and Irene Zhang},
title = {Securing {RDMA} for {High-Performance} Datacenter Storage Systems},
booktitle = {12th USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing (HotCloud 20)},
year = {2020},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul

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