NetPaxos: Consensus at Network Speed

Abstract

This paper explores the possibility of implementing the widely deployed Paxos consensus protocol in network devices. We present two different approaches: (i) a detailed design description for implementing the full Paxos logic in SDN switches, which identifies a sufficient set of required OpenFlow extensions; and (ii) an alternative, optimistic protocol which can be implemented without changes to the OpenFlow API, but relies on assumptions about how the network orders messages. Although neither of these protocols can be fully implemented without changes to the underlying switch firmware, we argue that such changes are feasible in existing hardware. Moreover, we present an evaluation that suggests that moving Paxos logic into the network would yield significant performance benefits for distributed applications.

Publication
Proceedings of SOSR’15)