POSEIDON: A Consolidated Virtual Network Controller that Manages Millions of Tenants via Config Tree


Biao Lyu, Zhejiang University and Alibaba Cloud; Enge Song, Tian Pan, Jianyuan Lu, Shize Zhang, Xiaoqing Sun, Lei Gao, Chenxiao Wang, Han Xiao, Yong Pan, Xiuheng Chen, Yandong Duan, Weisheng Wang, Jinpeng Long, Yanfeng Wang, Kunpeng Zhou, and Zhigang Zong, Alibaba Cloud; Xing Li, Zhejiang University and Alibaba Cloud; Guangwang Li and Pengyu Zhang, Alibaba Cloud; Peng Cheng and Jiming Chen, Zhejiang University; Shunmin Zhu, Tsinghua University and Alibaba Cloud


As the cloud rapidly expands in scale, the virtual network controller must manage an increasing number of devices with higher update frequencies. Furthermore, the emergence of cloud-native services has substantially intensified program-triggered updates, leading to more frequent API invocations. To enhance performance and extensibility, we propose Poseidon, a novel virtual network control framework. Specifically, to reduce operational expenses (OpEx), we have consolidated the common functions of multiple service controllers into a single controller. To manage heterogeneous devices and eliminate the multi-table lookup complexity due to config dependencies, we introduce Trident, a tree-based service- and device-independent abstraction, so that config dependency calculation can be replaced by more efficient tree traversal. After deploying Poseidon on Alibaba Cloud, we observed a 21x increase in the throughput of virtual network configuration tasks, along with a 4.4x decrease in the P99 API processing latency. Poseidon completes the task of enabling hundreds of Elastic IP addresses (EIPs) 1.8 to 55 times faster than Vendors A and B, both of which are among the top 5 providers, for identical network configuration jobs.

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@inproceedings {295587,
author = {Biao Lyu and Enge Song and Tian Pan and Jianyuan Lu and Shize Zhang and Xiaoqing Sun and Lei Gao and Chenxiao Wang and Han Xiao and Yong Pan and Xiuheng Chen and Yandong Duan and Weisheng Wang and Jinpeng Long and Yanfeng Wang and Kunpeng Zhou and Zhigang Zong and Xing Li and Guangwang Li and Pengyu Zhang and Peng Cheng and Jiming Chen and Shunmin Zhu},
title = {{POSEIDON}: A Consolidated Virtual Network Controller that Manages Millions of Tenants via Config Tree},
booktitle = {21st USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 24)},
year = {2024},
isbn = {978-1-939133-39-7},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
pages = {1083--1099},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/nsdi24/presentation/lyu},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = apr