Building blocks for network-accelerated distributed file systems

Research paper by our partner ETHZ, accepted at the SC22 Conference  that took place online from 14 to 18 November 2022 in Dallas, TX, USA. This paper was produced in collaboration with DEEP-SEA and was a BEST PAPER FINALIST!


High-performance clusters and datacenters pose increasingly demanding requirements on storage systems. If these systems do not operate at scale, applications are doomed to become I/O bound and waste compute cycles. To accelerate the data path to remote storage nodes, remote direct memory access (RDMA) has been embraced by storage systems to let data flow from the network to storage targets, reducing overall latency and CPU utilization. Yet, this approach still involves CPUs on the data path to enforce storage policies such as authentication, replication, and erasure coding. We show how storage policies can be offloaded to fully programmable SmartNICs, without involving host CPUs. By using PsPIN, an open-hardware SmartNIC, we show latency improvements for writes (up to 2x), data replication (up to 2x), and erasure coding (up to 2x), when compared to respective CPU- and RDMA-based alternatives.


Salvatore Di Girolamo, Daniele De Sensi, Konstantin Taranov, Milos Malesevic, Maciej Besta, Timo Schneider, Severin Kistler, Torsten Hoefler (ETHZ)

DOI: 10.5555/3571885.3571898