Recent years have seen a lot of innovation in functionality deployed across data center networks, atop switches and middleboxes. We are developing Eden, an architecture for implementing network functions at data center end hosts with minimal network support. Example network functions include load balancing, application-level QoS, congestion control, etc. At the control plane, such network functions require global visibility. At the data plane, they need to access and modify state, to perform computations, and to access application semantics—this is critical since many network functions are best expressed in terms of application-level “messages”.
I will outline Eden’s design and its extended match-action programming model. Through a few case studies, I will explain how implementing network functions in Eden involves programming applications to classify their traffic into messages and programming end host enclaves to apply action functions based on a packet’s class.
I am a researcher in the Systems and Networking group at Microsoft Research in Cambridge. Earlier, I graduated from Cornell University where I indulged in follies like Scalable Internet Routing and Network Management. Most of my current research centers around systems and networking issues in data centers.