Advanced high-speed network cards have made packet processing in host operating systems a major performance bottleneck. The kernel network stack gives rise to various sources of overheads that limit the throughput and lengthen the per-packet processing latency. The problem is further exacerbated for short-lived, latency-sensitive network flows such as control packets, online gaming, database requests, etc. — in a highly utilized system, especially in virtualized (containerized) cloud environments, short flows can experience excessively long in-kernel queuing delays. As a consequence, recent research works propose to bypass the kernel network stack to enable lightweight, custom userspace network stacks for improved performance, but at a heavy cost of compatibility and security. In this paper, we take a different approach: We first analyze various sources of inefficiencies in the kernel network stack and propose ways to mitigate them without compromising systems compatibility, security, or flexibility. Further, we propose PRISM, a novel mechanism in the kernel network stack to differentiate incoming packets based on their performance requirements and streamline the processing stages of multi-stage packet processing pipelines (e.g., in container overlay networks). Our evaluation demonstrates that PRISM can significantly improve the latency of high-priority flows in container overly networks in the presence of heavymore »
Particle: ephemeral endpoints for serverless networking
Burst-parallel serverless applications invoke thousands of short-lived distributed functions to complete complex jobs such as data analytics, video encoding, or compilation. While these tasks execute in seconds, starting and configuring the virtual network they rely on is a major bottleneck that can consume up to 84% of total startup time. In this paper we characterize the magnitude of this network cold start problem in three popular overlay networks, Docker Swarm, Weave, and Linux Overlay. We focus on end-to-end startup time that encompasses both the time to boot a group of containers as well as interconnecting them. Our primary observation is that existing overlay approaches for serverless networking scale poorly in short-lived serverless environments. Based on our findings we develop Particle, a network stack tailored for multi-node serverless overlay networks that optimizes network creation without sacrificing multi-tenancy, generality, or throughput. When integrated into a serverless burst-parallel video processing pipeline, Particle improves application runtime by 2.4--3X over existing overlays.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
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- Journal Name:
- 11th ACM Symposium on Cloud Computing (SoCC)
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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