Autonomous NIC offloads

Boris Pismenny, Haggai Eran, Aviad Yehezkel, Liran Liss, Adam Morrison, Dan Tsafrir

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

CPUs routinely offload to NICs network-related processing tasks like packet segmentation and checksum. NIC offloads are advantageous because they free valuable CPU cycles. But their applicability is typically limited to layer=4 protocols (TCP and lower), and they are inapplicable to layer-5 protocols (L5Ps) that are built on top of TCP. This limitation is caused by a misfeature we call "offload dependence,"which dictates that L5P offloading additionally requires offloading the underlying layer=4 protocols and related functionality: TCP, IP, firewall, etc. The dependence of L5P offloading hinders innovation, because it implies hard-wiring the complicated, ever-changing implementation of the lower-level protocols. We propose "autonomous NIC offloads,"which eliminate offload dependence. Autonomous offloads provide a lightweight software-device architecture that accelerates L5Ps without having to migrate the entire layer=4 TCP/IP stack into the NIC. A main challenge that autonomous offloads address is coping with out-of-sequence packets. We implement autonomous offloads for two L5Ps: (i) NVMe-over-TCP zero-copy and CRC computation, and (ii) https authentication, encryption, and decryption. Our autonomous offloads increase throughput by up to 3.3x, and they deliver CPU consumption and latency that are as low as 0.4x and 0.7x, respectively. Their implementation is already upstreamed in the Linux kernel, and they will be supported in the next-generation of Mellanox NICs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 26th ACM International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, ASPLOS 2021
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages18-35
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781450383172
DOIs
StatePublished - 19 Apr 2021
Event26th ACM International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, ASPLOS 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 19 Apr 202123 Apr 2021

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems - ASPLOS

Conference

Conference26th ACM International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, ASPLOS 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online
Period19/04/2123/04/21

Keywords

  • NIC
  • hardware/software co-design
  • operating system

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