skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on April 1, 2023

Title: cISP: A Speed-of-Light Internet Service Provider
Low latency is a requirement for a variety of interactive network applications. The Internet, however, is not optimized for latency. We thus explore the design of wide-area networks that move data at nearly the speed of light in vacuum. Our cISP design augments the Internet’s fiber with free-space microwave wireless connectivity over paths very close to great-circle paths. cISP addresses the fundamental challenge of simultaneously providing ultra-low latency while accounting for numerous practical factors ranging from transmission tower availability to packet queuing. We show that instantiations of cISP across the United States and Europe would achieve mean latencies within 5% of that achievable using great-circle paths at the speed of light, over medium and long distances. Further, using experiments conducted on a nearly-speed-of-light algorithmic trading network, together with an analysis of trading data at its end points, we show that microwave networks are reliably faster than fiber networks even in inclement weather. Finally, we estimate that the economic value of such networks would substantially exceed their expense.
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
19th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI), April 2022
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. We present the first all-optical network, Baldur, to enable power-efficient and high-speed communications in future exascale computing systems. The essence of Baldur is its ability to perform packet routing on-the-fly in the optical domain using an emerging technology called the transistor laser (TL), which presents interesting opportunities and challenges at the system level. Optical packet switching readily eliminates many inefficiencies associated with the crossings between optical and electrical domains. However, TL gates consume high power at the current technology node, which makes TL-based buffering and optical clock recovery impractical. Consequently, we must adopt novel (bufferless and clock-less) architecture and design approaches that are substantially different from those used in current networks. At the architecture level, we support a bufferless design by turning to techniques that have fallen out of favor for current networks. Baldur uses a low-radix, multi-stage network with a simple routing algorithm that drops packets to handle congestion, and we further incorporate path multiplicity and randomness to minimize packet drops. This design also minimizes the number of TL gates needed in each switch. At the logic design level, a non-conventional, length-based data encoding scheme is used to eliminate the need for clock recovery. We thoroughly validate and evaluatemore »Baldur using a circuit simulator and a network simulator. Our results show that Baldur achieves up to 3,000X lower average latency while consuming 3.2X-26.4X less power than various state-of-the art networks under a wide variety of traffic patterns and real workloads, for the scale of 1,024 server nodes. Baldur is also highly scalable, since its power per node stays relatively constant as we increase the network size to over 1 million server nodes, which corresponds to 14.6X-31.0X power improvements compared to state-of-the-art networks at this scale.« less
  2. Wireless x-haul networks rely on microwave and millimeter-wave links between 4G and/or 5G base-stations to support ultra-high data rate and ultra-low latency. A major challenge associated with these high frequency links is their susceptibility to weather conditions. In particular, precipitation may cause severe signal attenuation, which significantly degrades the network performance. In this paper, we develop a Predictive Network Reconfiguration (PNR) framework that uses historical data to predict the future condition of each link and then prepares the network ahead of time for imminent disturbances. The PNR framework has two components: (i) an Attenuation Prediction (AP) mechanism; and (ii) a Multi-Step Network Reconfiguration (MSNR) algorithm. The AP mechanism employs an encoderdecoder Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) model to predict the sequence of future attenuation levels of each link. The MSNR algorithm leverages these predictions to dynamically optimize routing and admission control decisions aiming to maximize network utilization, while preserving max-min fairness among the base-stations sharing the network and preventing transient congestion that may be caused by re-routing. We train, validate, and evaluate the PNR framework using a dataset containing over 2 million measurements collected from a real-world city-scale backhaul network. The results show that the framework: (i) predicts attenuation with highmore »accuracy, with an RMSE of less than 0.4 dB for a prediction horizon of 50 seconds; and (ii) can improve the instantaneous network utilization by more than 200% when compared to reactive network reconfiguration algorithms that cannot leverage information about future disturbances« less
  3. Datacenters need networks that support both low-latency and high-bandwidth packet delivery to meet the stringent requirements of modern applications. We present Opera, a dynamic network that delivers latency-sensitive traffic quickly by relying on multi-hop forwarding in the same way as expander-graph-based approaches, but provides near-optimal bandwidth for bulk flows through direct forwarding over time-varying source-to-destination circuits. Unlike prior approaches, Opera requires no separate electrical network and no active circuit scheduling. The key to Opera's design is the rapid and deterministic reconfiguration of the network, piece-by-piece, such that at any moment in time the network implements an expander graph, yet, integrated across time, the network provides bandwidth-efficient single-hop paths between all racks. We show that Opera supports low-latency traffic with flow completion times comparable to cost-equivalent static topologies, while delivering up to 4x the bandwidth for all-to-all traffic and supporting up to 60% higher load for published datacenter workloads.
  4. R-tree is a foundational data structure used in spatial databases and scientific databases. With the advancement of networks and computer architectures, in-memory data processing for R-tree in distributed systems has become a common platform. We have observed new performance challenges to process R-tree as the amount of multidimensional datasets become increasingly high. Specifically, an R-tree server can be heavily overloaded while the network and client CPU are lightly loaded, and vice versa. In this article, we present the design and implementation of Catfish, an RDMA-enabled R-tree for low latency and high throughput by adaptively utilizing the available network bandwidth and computing resources to balance the workloads between clients and servers. We design and implement two basic mechanisms of using RDMA for a client-server R-tree data processing system. First, in the fast messaging design, we use RDMA writes to send R-tree requests to the server and let server threads process R-tree requests to achieve low query latency. Second, in the RDMA offloading design, we use RDMA reads to offload tree traversal from the server to the client, which rescues the server as it is overloaded. We further develop an adaptive scheme to effectively switch an R-tree search between fast messaging andmore »RDMA offloading, maximizing the overall performance. Our experiments show that the adaptive solution of Catfish on InfiniBand significantly outperforms R-tree that uses only fast messaging or only RDMA offloading in both latency and throughput. Catfish can also deliver up to one order of magnitude performance over the traditional schemes using TCP/IP on 1 and 40 Gbps Ethernet. We make a strong case to use RDMA to effectively balance workloads in distributed systems for low latency and high throughput.« less
  5. Intrusion detection through classifying incoming packets is a crucial functionality at the network edge, requiring accuracy, efficiency and scalability at the same time, introducing a great challenge. On the one hand, traditional table-based switch functions have limited capacity to identify complicated network attack behaviors. On the other hand, machine learning based methods providing high accuracy are widely used for packet classification, but they typically require packets to be forwarded to an extra host and therefore increase the network latency. To overcome these limitations, in this paper we propose an architecture with programmable data plane switches. We show that Binarized Neural Networks (BNNs) can be implemented as switch functions at the network edge classifying incoming packets at the line speed of the switches. To train BNNs in a scalable manner, we adopt a federated learning approach that keeps the communication overheads of training small even for scenarios involving many edge network domains. We next develop a prototype using the P4 language and perform evaluations. The results demonstrate that a multi-fold improvement in latency and communication overheads can be achieved compared to state-of the-art learning architectures.