mOS: A Reusable Networking Stack for Flow Monitoring Middleboxes


Muhammad Asim Jamshed, YoungGyoun Moon, Donghwi Kim, Dongsu Han, and KyoungSoo Park, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
Awarded Best Paper!


Stateful middleboxes, such as intrusion detection systems and application-level firewalls, have provided key functionalities in operating modern IP networks. However, designing an efficient middlebox is challenging due to the lack of networking stack abstraction for TCP flow processing. Thus, middlebox developers often write the complex flow management logic from scratch, which is not only prone to errors, but also wastes efforts for similar functionalities across applications.

This paper presents the design and implementation of mOS, a reusable networking stack for stateful flow processing in middlebox applications. Our API allows developers to focus on the core application logic instead of dealing with low-level packet/flow processing themselves. Under the hood, it implements an efficient event system that scales to monitoring millions of concurrent flow events. Our evaluation demonstrates that mOS enables modular development of stateful middleboxes, often significantly reducing development efforts represented by the source lines of code, while introducing little performance overhead in multi-10Gbps network environments.

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@inproceedings {201546,
author = {Muhammad Asim Jamshed and YoungGyoun Moon and Donghwi Kim and Dongsu Han and KyoungSoo Park},
title = {mOS: A Reusable Networking Stack for Flow Monitoring Middleboxes},
booktitle = {14th {USENIX} Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation ({NSDI} 17)},
year = {2017},
isbn = {978-1-931971-37-9},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {113--129},
url = {},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},