Prism: Proxies without the Pain


Yutaro Hayakawa, LINE Corporation; Michio Honda, University of Edinburgh; Douglas Santry, Apple Inc. Lars Eggert, NetApp


Object storage systems, which store data in a flat name space over multiple storage nodes, are essential components for providing data-intensive services such as video streaming or cloud backup. Their bottleneck is usually either the compute or the network bandwidth of customer-facing frontend machines, despite much more such capacity being available at backend machines and in the network core. Prism addresses this problem by combining the flexibility and security of traditional frontend proxy architectures with the performance and resilience of modern key-value stores that optimize for small I/O patterns and typically use custom, UDP-based protocols inside a datacenter. Prism uses a novel connection hand-off protocol that takes the advantages of a modern Linux kernel feature and programmable switch, and supports both unencrypted TCP and TLS, and a corresponding API for easy integration into applications. Prism can improve throughput by a factor of up to 3.4 with TLS and by up to 3.7 with TCP, when compared to a traditional frontend proxy architecture.

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@inproceedings {262042,
title = {Prism: Proxies without the Pain},
booktitle = {18th {USENIX} Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation ({NSDI} 21)},
year = {2021},
url = {},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = apr,
Hayakawa Paper (Prepublication) PDF