Parallel and Distributed Systems Group

Computer Science Department of Telecom SudParis

SwiSh: Distributed shared state abstractions for programmable switches.

Reading group: Bastien Gastaldi presented "SwiSh: Distributed shared state abstractions for programmable switches." (NSDI'22) at 1A312 the 10/11/2023 at 10h00.


We design and evaluate SwiSh, a distributed shared state management layer for data-plane P4 programs. SwiSh enables running scalable stateful distributed network functions on programmable switches entirely in the data-plane. We explore several schemes to build a shared variable abstraction, which differ in consistency, performance, and in-switch implementation complexity. We introduce the novel Strong DelayedWrites (SDW) protocol which offers consistent snapshots of shared data-plane objects with semantics known as r-relaxed strong linearizability, enabling implementation of distributed concurrent sketches with precise error bounds.

We implement strong, eventual, and SDW consistency protocols in Tofino switches, and compare their performance in microbenchmarks and three realistic network functions, NAT, DDoS detector, and rate limiter. Our results show that the distributed state management in the data plane is practical, and outperforms centralized solutions by up to four orders of magnitude in update throughput and replication latency.