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Conference Papers Year : 2021

Charon: Load-Aware Load-Balancing in P4

Zhiyuan Yao
Yoann Desmouceaux
Mark Townsley
Thomas Heide Clausen


Load-Balancers play an important role in data centers as they distribute network flows across application servers and guarantee per-connection consistency. It is hard however to make fair load balancing decisions so that all resources are efficiently occupied yet not overloaded. Tracking connection states allows to infer server load states and make informed decisions, but at the cost of additional memory space consumption. This makes it hard to implement on programmable hardware, which has constrained memory but offers line-rate performance. This paper presents Charon, a stateless load-aware load balancer that has line-rate performance implemented in P4-NetFPGA. Charon passively collects load states from application servers and employs the power-of-2-choices scheme to make data-driven load balancing decisions and improve resource utilization. Perconnection consistency is preserved statelessly by encoding server ID in a covert channel. The prototype design and implementation details are described in this paper. Simulation results show performance gains in terms of load distribution fairness, quality of service, throughput and processing latency.
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Dates and versions

hal-03405838 , version 1 (27-10-2021)
hal-03405838 , version 2 (02-11-2021)



Carmine Rizzi, Zhiyuan Yao, Yoann Desmouceaux, Mark Townsley, Thomas Heide Clausen. Charon: Load-Aware Load-Balancing in P4. 1st Joint International Workshop on Network Programmability & Automation (NetPA) at 17th International Conference on Network and Service Management (CNSM 2021), Oct 2021, Izmir (virtual), Turkey. ⟨10.23919/CNSM52442.2021.9615535⟩. ⟨hal-03405838v2⟩


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