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Stanford University Networking Seminar

Amy Ousterhout
Flexplane: An Experimentation Platform for Resource Management in Datacenters

12:00pm, Tuesday, June 6 2017
Gates 415

About the Talk

It is very difficult today to experiment with new resource management schemes for datacenter networks. Software routers provide limited throughput of a few dozen Gbits/s, FPGAs and programmable chipsets provide limited flexibility and require new hardware, and software simulations do not accurately model real networks and applications.

Flexplane addresses these problems. Like software routers, Flexplane enables users to express resource management schemes in a high-level language (C), but unlike software routers, Flexplane runs at close to hardware line rates. To achieve these two goals, a centralized emulator faithfully emulates in real-time the desired data plane algorithms with very succinct representations of the original packets. Real packets traverse the network when notified by the emulator, sharing the same fate and delays as their emulated counterparts. Flexplane provides accuracy and high throughput, and enables experiments with real-world operating systems and applications, such as Spark, running on diverse network schemes, including those such as HULL and pFabric that are not available in hardware today.

About the Speaker

Amy Ousterhout is a PhD student at MIT, advised by Hari Balakrishnan. Her research focuses on datacenter networks and applications.