RingLeader: Efficiently Offloading Intra-Server Orchestration to NICs


Jiaxin Lin, Adney Cardoza, Tarannum Khan, and Yeonju Ro, UT Austin; Brent E. Stephens, University of Utah; Hassan Wassel, Google; Aditya Akella, UT Austin


Careful orchestration of requests at a datacenter server is crucial to meet tight tail latency requirements and ensure high throughput and optimal CPU utilization. Orchestration is multi-pronged and involves load balancing and scheduling requests belonging to different services across CPU resources, and adapting CPU allocation to request bursts. Centralized intra-server orchestration offers ideal load balancing performance, scheduling precision, and burst-tolerant CPU re-allocation. However, existing software-only approaches fail to achieve ideal orchestration because they have limited scalability and waste CPU resources. We argue for a new approach that offloads intra-server orchestration entirely to the NIC. We present RingLeader, a new programmable NIC with novel hardware units for software-informed request load balancing and programmable scheduling and a new light-weight OS-NIC interface that enables close NIC-CPU coordination and supports NIC-assisted CPU scheduling. Detailed experiments with a 100 Gbps FPGA-based prototype show that we obtain better scalability, efficiency, latency, and throughput than state-of-the-art software-only orchestrators including Shinjuku and Caladan.

NSDI '23 Open Access Sponsored by
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

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 {286477,
author = {Jiaxin Lin and Adney Cardoza and Tarannum Khan and Yeonju Ro and Brent E. Stephens and Hassan Wassel and Aditya Akella},
title = {{RingLeader}: Efficiently Offloading {Intra-Server} Orchestration to {NICs}},
booktitle = {20th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 23)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-33-5},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {1293--1308},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/nsdi23/presentation/lin},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = apr

Presentation Video