NetRPC: Enabling In-Network Computation in Remote Procedure Calls


Bohan Zhao, Tsinghua University; Wenfei Wu, Peking University; Wei Xu, Tsinghua Univesity


People have shown that in-network computation (INC) significantly boosts performance in many application scenarios include distributed training, MapReduce, agreement, and network monitoring. However, existing INC programming is unfriendly to the normal application developers, demanding tedious network engineering details like flow control, packet organization, chip-specific programming language, and ASIC architecture with many limitations. We propose a general INC-enabled RPC system, NetRPC. NetRPC provides a set of familiar and lightweight interfaces for software developers to describe an INC application using a traditional RPC programming model. NetRPC also proposes a general-purpose INC implementation together with a set of optimization techniques to guarantee the efficiency of various types of INC applications running on a shared INC data plane. We conduct extensive experiments on different types of applications on the real testbed. Results show that using only about 5% or even fewer human-written lines of code, NetRPC can achieve performance similar to the state-of-the-art INC solutions.

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

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This content is available to:

@inproceedings {285080,
author = {Bohan Zhao and Wenfei Wu and Wei Xu},
title = {{NetRPC}: Enabling {In-Network} Computation in Remote Procedure Calls},
booktitle = {20th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 23)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-33-5},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {199--217},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = apr
Zhao Paper (Prepublication) PDF

Presentation Video