Consensus as a Network Service

Huynhtu Dang

The Paxos protocol is the foundation for building many fault-tolerant distributed systems and services. Given the importance of Paxos, and performance improvements to the protocol would have a significant impact on data-center infrastructure. We argue that implementing Paxos in network devices would significantly improve its performance. This talk describes an implementation of Paxos in P4, as well as our on-going efforts to evaluate the implementation on Netronome Agilio SmartNICs. Implementing Paxos provides a critical use case for P4, and will help drive the requirements for data plane languages in general. In the long term, we imagine that consensus could someday be offered as a network service.

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