Theme 3: Fine-grained Communication and Coordination

The trend to design data centers with millions of accelerators, supporting a wide variety of heterogeneous functionality will quickly accelerate, introducing networking challenges. We envision hierarchical, flexible and reconfigurable network topologies that leverage accelerators for protocol and infrastructure tasks. This evolvable hardware will be matched with an evolvable communication software stack that specializes to the accelerators available—substantially reducing the Datacenter Tax. Furthermore, to prevent accelerators from sitting idle because the scheduler fails to assign them work or because they are waiting for remote data to arrive, we envision a novel runtime. The runtime bundles computation in small buckets and ships them to where the data lives. Moreover, accelerators in network switches and smartNICs  use their unique vantage points to perform a variety of computations, further improving efficiency. Finally, we propose new memory and accelerator designs to speed-up geo-distributed data stores---since they are a fundamental component of the cloud infrastructure.

WAN switches, datacenter switches, and SmartNICs can perform in-network computing.
WAN switches, datacenter switches, and SmartNICs can perform in-network computing (Courtesy of Manya Ghobadi).

Papers and Presentations:

eZNS: An Elastic Zoned Namespace for Commodity ZNS SSDs 
Jaehong Min, Chenxingyu Zhao, Ming Liu, and Arvind Krishnamurthy
USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI) July 2023
Electrode: Accelerating Distributed Protocols with eBPF
Yang Zhou, Zezhou Wang, Sowmya Dharanipragada, Minlan Yu
USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI), April 2023
The Slow Path Needs an Accelerator Too! 
Annus Zulfiqar, Ben Pfaff, William Tu, Gianni Antichi, Muhammad Shahbaz
Homunculus Auto-Generating Efficient Data-Plane ML Pipelines for Datacenter Networks 
Tushar Swamy, Annus Zulfiqar, Muhammad Shahbaz, Luigi Nardi, Kunle Olukotun
International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS), Mar 2023