Exploiting Parallelism to Scale Software Routers
Speaker: Sylvia Ratnasamy, Intel Research Berkeley
Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1302
Date: April 19, 2010, 11:30 a.m.
Host: Richard Cole
Current network routers scale to very high speeds but rely on specialized hardware, which has made them notoriously difficult to extend, program or otherwise experiment with. An appealing alternative are "software routers," which perform packet processing in software running on general-purpose PC hardware; these are easily programmable, but have so far been suitable only for low packet-rate environments.
The goal of the RouteBricks work is to build network infrastructure that is both extensible and capable of high performance. Motivated by recent advances in server technology that enable high-speed parallel processing, we propose a software router architecture that parallelizes router functionality both across multiple servers and across multiple cores within a single server. By carefully exploiting parallelism at every opportunity, we demonstrate a 72Gbps prototype built from 4 servers; this capacity can be linearly scaled through the use of additional servers. Our prototype router is fully programmable using the familiar Click/Linux environment and is built entirely from off-the-shelf, general-purpose server hardware. RouteBricks thus offers network operators ease of customization, consolidation and evolution of network functionality.
Sylvia Ratnasamy is a researcher at Intel Research Berkeley where her work has focused primarily on the design and implementation of networked systems. Sylvia received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002 and a B.E. in Computer Engineering from the University of Pune, India in 1997. As a Ph.D. student, Sylvia also worked at ICIR, the ICSI Center for Internet Research.
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