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Thursday, July 11 • 11:35am - 11:55am
E3: Energy-Efficient Microservices on SmartNIC-Accelerated Servers

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We investigate the use of SmartNIC-accelerated servers to execute microservice-based applications in the data center. By offloading suitable microservices to the SmartNIC’s low-power processor, we can improve server energy-efficiency without latency loss. However, as a heterogeneous computing substrate in the data path of the host, SmartNICs bring several challenges to a microservice platform: network traffic routing and load balancing, microservice placement on heterogeneous hardware, and contention on shared SmartNIC resources. We present E3, a microservice execution platform for SmartNIC-accelerated servers. E3 follows the design philosophies of the Azure Service Fabric microservice platform and extends key system components to a SmartNIC to address the above-mentioned challenges. E3 employs three key techniques: ECMP-based load balancing via SmartNICs to the host, network topology-aware microservice placement, and a data-plane orchestrator that can detect SmartNIC overload. Our E3 prototype using Cavium LiquidIO SmartNICs shows that SmartNIC offload can improve cluster energy-efficiency up to 3× and cost efficiency up to 1.9× at up to 4% latency cost for common microservices, including real-time analytics, an IoT hub, and virtual network functions.


Ming Liu

University of Washington

Simon Peter

The University of Texas at Austin

Arvind Krishnamurthy

University of Washington

Phitchaya Mangpo Phothilimthana

University of California, Berkeley

Thursday July 11, 2019 11:35am - 11:55am PDT
USENIX ATC Track I: Grand Ballroom I–VI