Disaggregating Stateful Network Functions


Deepak Bansal, Gerald DeGrace, Rishabh Tewari, Michal Zygmunt, and James Grantham, Microsoft; Silvano Gai, Mario Baldi, Krishna Doddapaneni, Arun Selvarajan, Arunkumar Arumugam, and Balakrishnan Raman, AMD Pensando; Avijit Gupta, Sachin Jain, Deven Jagasia, Evan Langlais, Pranjal Srivastava, Rishiraj Hazarika, Neeraj Motwani, Soumya Tiwari, Stewart Grant, Ranveer Chandra, and Srikanth Kandula, Microsoft


For security, isolation, metering and other purposes, public clouds today implement complex network functions at every server. Today's implementations, in software or on FPGAs and ASICs that are attached to each host, are becoming increasingly complex, costly and bottlenecks to scalability. We present a different design that disaggregates network function processing off the host and into shared resource pools by making novel use of appliances which tightly integrate general-purpose ARM cores with high-speed stateful match processing ASICs. When work is skewed across VMs, such disaggregation can offer better reliability and performance over the state-of-art at a lower per-server cost. We describe our solutions to the consequent challenges and present results from a production deployment at a large public cloud.

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King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

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@inproceedings {286506,
author = {Deepak Bansal and Gerald DeGrace and Rishabh Tewari and Michal Zygmunt and James Grantham and Silvano Gai and Mario Baldi and Krishna Doddapaneni and Arun Selvarajan and Arunkumar Arumugam and Balakrishnan Raman and Avijit Gupta and Sachin Jain and Deven Jagasia and Evan Langlais and Pranjal Srivastava and Rishiraj Hazarika and Neeraj Motwani and Soumya Tiwari and Stewart Grant and Ranveer Chandra and Srikanth Kandula},
title = {Disaggregating Stateful Network Functions},
booktitle = {20th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 23)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-33-5},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {1469--1487},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/nsdi23/presentation/bansal},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = apr

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