Network-Accelerated Consensus

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This project builds FLAIR, a novel approach for accelerating read operations in leader-based consensus protocols. FLAIR leverages the capabilities of the new generation of programmable switches to serve reads from follower replicas without compromising consistency. The core of the new approach is a packet-processing pipeline that can track client requests and system replies, identify consistent replicas, and at line speed, forward read requests to replicas that can serve the read without sacrificing linearizability. An additional benefit of FLAIR is that it facilitates devising novel consistency-aware load balancing techniques.

Following the new approach, we designed FlairKV, a key-value store atop Raft. FlairKV implements the processing pipeline using the P4 programming language. We evaluate the benefits of the proposed approach and compare it to previous approaches using a cluster with a Barefoot Tofino switch. Our evaluation indicates that, compared to state-of-the-art alternatives, the proposed approach can bring significant performance gains: up to 42% higher throughput and 35-97% lower latency for most workloads.



[1] Accelerating Reads with In-Network Consistency-Aware Load Balancing
Ibrahim Kettaneh, Ahmed Alquraan, Hatem Takruri, Ali José Mashtizadeh, Samer Al-Kiswany
IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking (ToN). 2021. [pdf]

[2] FLAIR: Accelerating Reads with Consistency-Aware Network Routing
Hatem Takruri, Ibrahim Kettaneh, Ahmed Alquraan, Samer Al-Kiswany
USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI’20), Feb. 2020 (acceptance rate: 18%) [pdf][slides]

[3] Network-Accelerated Consensus for Read-Intensive Workloads
Hatem Takruri, Ibrahim Kettaneh, Ahmed Alquraan, Samer Al-Kiswany
Technical Report, Waterloo Advanced Systems Lab. Jan. 2020 [pdf]