alan shieh, srikanth kandula, and e gun sirer
20 October 2010
The case for making switches more programmable has long been made. Better monitoring, explicit feedback for more adept congestion control and policing, improved security enforcement and many new features stand to gain from programmable switches. However, such switches remain a work-in-progress. This paper examines an extreme point in the design space-- a network wherein one port on each switch is connected to a general purpose sidecar processor (e.g., a server blade). While not a perfect replacement for programmable switches, we show that with minimal changes to existing switches, SideCars can combine with the existing v-switches at the edge hypervisors to provide pervasive network instrumentation and programmability on the forwarding plane. This solves several pressing problems without requiring new switch hardware. In particular, in the context of public cloud data centers with 1000s of tenants, we present novel solutions for multicast, controllable network bandwidth allocation (e.g., use-what-you-pay-for), and reachability isolation (e.g., a tenant’s VM only sees other VMs of the tenant and shared services). These capabilities surpass those of higher cost networks built from specialized switches.
In Ninth ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks (HotNets)
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.
Copyright © 2007 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than ACM must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. Request permissions from Publications Dept, ACM Inc., fax +1 (212) 869-0481, or firstname.lastname@example.org. The definitive version of this paper can be found at ACM’s Digital Library --http://www.acm.org/dl/.