Prism: A Proxy Architecture for Datacenter Networks


September 30, 2017


Yutaro Hayakawa, Keio University; Lars Eggert, NetApp Inc.; Michio Honda, NEC Laboratories Europe; Douglas Santry, NetApp Inc.

The ACM Symposium on Cloud Computing 2017 (SoCC-2017) September 25-27, 2017 Santa Clara, CA.

In datacenters, workload throughput is often constrained by the attachment bandwidth of proxy servers, despite the much higher aggregate bandwidth of backend servers. We introduce a novel architecture that addresses this problem by combining programmable network switches with a controller that together act as a network‚ "Prism" that can transparently redirect individual client transactions to different backend servers. Unlike traditional proxy approaches, with Prism, transaction payload data is exchanged directly between clients and backend servers, which eliminates the proxy bottleneck. Because the controller only handles transactional metadata, it should scale to much higher transaction rates than traditional proxies. An experimental evaluation with a prototype implementation demonstrates correctness of operation, improved bandwidth utilization and low packet transformation overheads even in software.


A copy of the paper can be found at: