Software Datapaths for Multi-Tenant Packet Processing

Paul Chaignon 1, 2
1 RESIST - Resilience and Elasticity for Security and ScalabiliTy of dynamic networked systems
Inria Nancy - Grand Est, LORIA - NSS - Department of Networks, Systems and Services
Abstract : Multi-tenant networks enable applications from multiple, isolated tenants to communicate over a shared set of underlying hardware resources. The isolation provided by these networks is enforced at the edge: end hosts demultiplex packets to the appropriate virtual machine, copy data across memory isolation boundaries, and encapsulate packets in tunnels to isolate traffic over the datacenter's physical network. Over the last few years, the growing demand for high performance network interfaces has pressured cloud providers to build more efficient multi-tenant networks. While many turn to specialized, hard-to-upgrade hardware devices to achieve high performance, in this thesis, we argue that significant performance improvements are attainable in end-host multi-tenant networks, using commodity hardware. We advocate for a consolidation of network functions on the host and an offload of specific tenant network functions to the host. To that end, we design Oko, an extensible software switch that eases the consolidation of network functions. Oko includes an extended flow caching algorithm to support its runtime extension with limited overhead. Extensions are isolated from the software switch to prevent failures on the path of packets. By avoiding costly redirections to separate processes and virtual machines, Oko halves the running cost of network functions on average. We then design a framework to enable tenants to offload network functions to the host. Executing tenant network functions on the host promises large performance improvements, but raises evident isolation concerns. We extend the technique used in Oko to provide memory isolation and devise a mechanism to fairly share the CPU among offloaded network functions with limited interruptions.
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Paul Chaignon. Software Datapaths for Multi-Tenant Packet Processing. Networking and Internet Architecture [cs.NI]. Université de Lorraine, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019LORR0062⟩. ⟨tel-02315651⟩

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