A High-Speed Stateful Packet Processing Approach for Tbps Programmable Switches


Mariano Scazzariello and Tommaso Caiazzi, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Roma Tre University; Hamid Ghasemirahni, KTH Royal Institute of Technology; Tom Barbette, UCLouvain; Dejan Kostić and Marco Chiesa, KTH Royal Institute of Technology


High-speed ASIC switches hold great promise for offloading complex packet processing pipelines directly in the highspeed data-plane. Yet, a large variety of today's packet processing pipelines, including stateful network functions and packet schedulers, require storing some (or all the) packets for short amount of times in a programmatic manner. Such a programmable buffer feature is missing on today's high-speed ASIC switches.

In this work, we present RIBOSOME, a system that extends programmable switches with external memory (to store packets) and external general-purpose packet processing devices such as CPUs or FPGAs (to perform stateful operations). As today's packet processing devices are bottlenecked by their network interface speeds, RIBOSOME carefully transmits only the relevant bits to these devices. RIBOSOME leverages spare bandwidth from any directly connected servers to store the incoming payloads through RDMA. Our evaluation shows that RIBOSOME can process 300G of traffic through a stateful packet processing pipeline (e.g., firewall, load balancer, packet scheduler) by running the pipeline logic on a single server equipped with one 100G interface.

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

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@inproceedings {285094,
author = {Mariano Scazzariello and Tommaso Caiazzi and Hamid Ghasemirahni and Tom Barbette and Dejan Kosti{\'c} and Marco Chiesa},
title = {A {High-Speed} Stateful Packet Processing Approach for Tbps Programmable Switches},
booktitle = {20th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 23)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-33-5},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {1237--1255},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/nsdi23/presentation/scazzariello},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = apr
Scazzariello Paper (Prepublication) PDF

Presentation Video