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).