PANIC: A High-Performance Programmable NIC for Multi-tenant Networks


Jiaxin Lin, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Kiran Patel and Brent E. Stephens, University of Illinois at Chicago; Anirudh Sivaraman, New York University (NYU); Aditya Akella, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Programmable NICs have diverse uses, and there is need for a NIC platform that can offload computation from multiple co-resident applications to many different types of substrates, including hardware accelerators, embedded FPGAs, and embedded processor cores. Unfortunately, there is no existing NIC design that can simultaneously support a large number of diverse offloads while ensuring high throughput/low latency, multi-tenant isolation, flexible offload chaining, and support for offloads with variable performance. This paper presents Frenzy, a new programmable NIC. There are two new key components of the Frenzy design that enable it to overcome the limitations of existing NICs: 1) A high-performance switching interconnect that scalably connects independent engines into offload chains, and 2) A new hybrid push/pull packet scheduler that provides cross-tenant performance isolation and low-latency load-balancing across parallel offload engines. From both experiments performed on an 100Gbps FPGA-based prototype and experiments that use a combination of techniques including simulation and cost/area analysis, we find that this design overcomes the limitations of state-of-the-art programmable NICs.

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@inproceedings {258971,
author = {Jiaxin Lin and Kiran Patel and Brent E. Stephens and Anirudh Sivaraman and Aditya Akella},
title = {{PANIC}: A High-Performance Programmable {NIC} for Multi-tenant Networks},
booktitle = {14th {USENIX} Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation ({OSDI} 20)},
year = {2020},
isbn = {978-1-939133-19-9},
pages = {243--259},
url = {},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = nov,
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