Ensuring high scalability (elastic scale-out and consolidation), as well as high availability (failure resiliency) are critical in encouraging adoption of software-based network functions (NFs). In recent years, two paradigms have evolved in terms of the way the NFs manage their state - namely the Stateful (state is coupled with the NF instance) and a Stateless (state is externalized to a datastore) manner. These two paradigms present unique challenges and opportunities for ensuring high scalability and high availability of NFs and NF chains. In this work, we assess the impact on ensuring the correctness of NF state including the implications of non-determinism in packet processing, and carefully analyze and present the benefits and disadvantages of the two state management paradigms. We leverage OpenNetVM and Redis in-memory datastore to implement both state management paradigms and empirically compare the two. Although the stateless paradigm is desirable for elastic scaling, our experimental results show that, even at line-rate packet processing (10 Gbps), stateful NFs can achieve chain-level failover across servers in a LAN incurring less than 10% performance. The state-of-the-art stateless counterparts incur severe throughput penalties. We observe 30-85% overhead on normal processing, depending on the mode of state updated to the externalized datastore.
REINFORCE: achieving efficient failure resiliency for network function virtualization based services
Ensuring high availability (HA) for software-based networks is a critical design feature that will help the adoption of software-based network functions (NFs) in production networks. It is important for NFs to avoid outages and maintain mission-critical operations. However, HA support for NFs on the critical data path can result in unacceptable performance degradation. We present REINFORCE, an integrated framework to support efficient resiliency for NFs and NF service chains. REINFORCE includes timely failure detection and consistent failover mechanisms. REINFORCE replicates state to standby NFs (local and remote) while enforcing correctness. It minimizes the number of state transfers by exploiting the concept of external synchrony, and leverages opportunistic batching and multi-buffering to optimize performance. Experimental results show that, even at line-rate packet processing (10 Gbps), REINFORCE achieves chain-level failover across servers in a LAN (or within the same node) within 10ms (100/μs), incurring less than 10% (1%) performance overhead, and adds average latency of only ~400/μs (5/μs), with a worst-case latency of less than 1ms (10/μs).
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- CoNEXT '18 Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on emerging Networking EXperiments and Technologies
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 41 to 53
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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