CANS: Consensus At Network Speed
The advent of flexible hardware and expressive data plane programming languages will have a profound impact on networks. One possible use of this emerging technology is to move logic traditionally associated with the application layer into the network itself. We propose to investigate a new set of optimized consensus protocols that will leverage these recent advances in network programmability and hardware design. These protocols have the potential to dramatically improve the performance of the storage and replication systems that form the fundamental infrastructure for distributed and cloud computing services. In the long term, we imagine that consensus could someday be offered as a network service, just as point-to-point communication is provided today.