Huynh Tu Dang

Paxos Made Switch-y

Huynh Tu Dang, Marco Canini, Fernando Pedone, Robert Soulé
Appears in: 
CCR April 2016
Public Review By: 
Matteo Varvello

This paper describes an implementation of Paxos, a very popular consensus protocol, in P4, a programming language for flexible hardware. Such implementation aims at accelerating Paxos by shifting some of its application-level logic into network forwarding elements. The paper describes few modifications to Paxos dictated by such “switchy” design; for example, messages originated as part of the Paxos protocol need to be replaced by forwarding decisions. The paper also discusses potential extensions of P4 that would simplify the deployment of applications with such complex logics. The main reviewer’s concern was that the paper is a bit light, especially lacking a quantification of the impact of several design decisions linked with the usage of P4. However, the paper provides an interesting use case for P4 and the lessons learned can further help researchers in this field. Open sourcing the code by the authors was also particularly appreciated [1].

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