Title: IncBricks: Enabling In-network Computation with a Programmable Network Middlebox
Advisors: Arvind Krishnamurthy and Luis Ceze
Abstract: The emergence of programmable network devices and the increasing data traffic of datacenters motivate our in-network computation idea. By offloading computing operations onto intermediate networking devices (e.g., switches, middleboxes), one can (1) serve network requests on the fly with low latency; (2) reduce datacenter traffic and mitigate network congestion; (3) save energy by running servers in a low-power mode. However, since (1) existing switch technology doesn't provide general computing capabilities, and (2) commodity datacenter networks are complex (e.g., hierarchical fat-tree topologies, multipath communication), enabling in-network computation inside a datacenter is challenging. In this paper, we present IncBricks, a hardware-software co-designed system that allows doing in-network computations on a programmable networking middlebox. As a Memcached accelerator, our prototype lowers GET latency by over 25% and doubles throughput for 64 byte values in a common cluster configuration. When doing computation on cached values, IncBricks provides 3 times more throughput and a third of the latency of client-side computation.