RingLeader: Efficiently Offloading Intra-Server Orchestration to NICs


Jiaxin Lin, Adney Cardoza, Tarannum Khan, and Yeonju Ro, UT Austin; Brent E. Stephens, University of Utah; Hassan Wassel, Google; Aditya Akella, UT Austin


Careful orchestration of requests at a datacenter server is crucial to meet tight tail latency requirements and ensure high throughput and optimal CPU utilization. Orchestration is multi-pronged and involves load balancing and scheduling requests belonging to different services across CPU resources, and adapting CPU allocation to request bursts. Centralized intra-server orchestration offers ideal load balancing performance, scheduling precision, and burst-tolerant CPU re-allocation. However, existing software-only approaches fail to achieve ideal orchestration because they have limited scalability and waste CPU resources. We argue for a new approach that offloads intra-server orchestration entirely to the NIC. We present RingLeader, a new programmable NIC with novel hardware units for software-informed request load balancing and programmable scheduling and a new light-weight OS-NIC interface that enables close NIC-CPU coordination and supports NIC-assisted CPU scheduling. Detailed experiments with a 100 Gbps FPGA-based prototype show that we obtain better scalability, efficiency, latency, and throughput than state-of-the-art software-only orchestrators including Shinjuku and Caladan.

NSDI '23 Open Access Sponsored by
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

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@inproceedings {286477,
author = {Jiaxin Lin and Adney Cardoza and Tarannum Khan and Yeonju Ro and Brent E. Stephens and Hassan Wassel and Aditya Akella},
title = {{RingLeader}: Efficiently Offloading {Intra-Server} Orchestration to {NICs}},
booktitle = {20th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 23)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-33-5},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {1293--1308},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/nsdi23/presentation/lin},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = apr,

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