Isolation mechanisms for high-speed packet-processing pipelines

01/29/2021
by   PetsTime, et al.
0

Data-plane programmability is now mainstream, both in the form of programmable switches and smart network-interface cards (SmartNICs). As the number of use cases for programmable network devices grows, each device will need to support multiple packet-processing modules simultaneously. These modules are likely to be independently developed, e.g., measurement and security modules developed by different teams, or cloud tenants offloading packet processing to a NIC. Hence, we need isolation mechanisms to ensure that modules on the same device do not interfere with each other. This paper presents a system, Menshen, for inter-module isolation on programmable packet-processing pipelines similar to the RMT/PISA architecture. Menshen consists of a set of lightweight hardware primitives that can be added to an RMT pipeline and a compiler to take advantage of these primitives. We prototype the Menshen hardware using the NetFPGA switch and Corundum FPGA NIC platforms and the Menshen software using the open-source P4-16 reference compiler. We show that Menshen supports multiple modules simultaneously, allows one module to be quickly updated without disrupting other modules, and consumes a modest amount of additional hardware resources relative to an RMT pipeline. We have open sourced the code for Menshen's hardware and software at https://github.com/anonymous-submission-855. Although we do not have an ASIC implementation of Menshen, we believe its primitives are simple enough that they can be added to an ASIC realization of RMT as well.

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